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Universities’ popularity is growing despite only a third of jobs requiring degrees

Ahead of A-Level results day, new research from skills organization City & Guilds finds more young people (40%) are going to college compared to the same time last year (35%) . But there is a strong gender divide – almost half (47%) of girls aged 17-19 plan to go to university, compared to less than a third (31%) of boys.

Girls are also more concerned about future earnings, with more than half (54%) making their after-school choices based on what they think is the best way to get a good job, according to the results. a good salary, compared to only 44% of boys.

However, Lightcast’s labor market analysis suggests that only 29% of jobs in the UK typically require a university level qualification. This means that young people could go into debt unnecessarily without following a clear trajectory. With young people basing their education choices on perceived rather than actual career prospects, City & Guilds urges schools to provide sound career advice based on current labor market knowledge to ensure that young people, parents and teachers are aware of the full range of career options available.

The research also reveals that there is a clear difference between the influences that influence young people’s decisions about their career choices. While girls are more likely to be influenced by their family (42% vs. 23% of boys), boys are almost twice as likely as girls to say their choice is based on what they saw on TV or on social media.

David Phillips, Managing Director of City & Guilds, said: “It’s crucial that young men and women have access to solid, up-to-date career advice that paints a true picture of today’s job market and challenges stereotypes of gender overwhelmed on careers. This will ensure that school leavers know what is most likely to lead to a good job when making choices about their future. We have seen in our research that both boys and girls are strongly influenced by those in their networks, so it is essential that parents and teachers are made aware of the extent of education and training pathways, apart from traditional academics, which can lead to rewarding, well-paying jobs.

City & Guilds research also reveals the impact of rising costs on young people’s decisions. More than half (56%) of 17-19 year olds surveyed say the rising cost of living has caused them to reconsider what kind of career they could pursue after leaving school or university. 67% say they think about salary more when considering potential careers, while a further 60% now plan to stay in school full-time longer to help them secure better-paying jobs in the future.

David continues: “It’s reassuring to see that young people are already thinking about the career options available to them. However, as the UK battles a volatile labor market, with a potential recession on the horizon and a cost of living crisis ahead of this year’s results day, it is more important than ever that young people make informed decisions about their future.

“While college is the right path for some, it’s certainly not the only option. Our recent Great Jobs survey shed light on the essential jobs which account for 50% of all employment opportunities in the UK – many of which rely on career pathways such as internships, apprenticeships and T-levels. young people are looking to invest in their future, we encourage them to consider the full range of options available so they can identify the path that is right for them.

City & Guilds encourages young people to consider the wide range of different education options available after leaving school. These can lead to important and fulfilling jobs and careers that are often overlooked by the people who would thrive there. Parents, teachers and students can find out more about vocational and technical education pathways on the City & Guilds website:

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