Undergraduates from ethnic minorities 'more focused on careers'

2003

University students from ethnic minorities are much more focused on their future careers than their white counterparts and are less likely to opt for employers in the arts, media or public sector, according to a new survey of undergraduates in the UK

Of 4,500 students who had registered for career information or to attend a career fair, almost half of the white group were already in their final year. However this dropped to just over a third for respondents from Asian and African-Caribbean communities.

"Students from ethnic minorities seem to be much more aware of the job market and the need to start preparing early for their post-graduate career,” says Carole Brennan of career development group, Topcareers, which carried out the research.

"Undergraduates from both the Asian and African-Caribbean communities start gathering information on career opportunities much earlier than their white counterparts, many as early as their first year at university. It’s perhaps a sign of a greater realism about prospects in an increasingly competitive marketplace."

The survey also showed a difference of emphasis when it came to choice of future employer. Students from the Asian community are most attracted to careers in finance, banking or consulting, while undergraduates from the African-Caribbean and Chinese communities are much more likely to favour IT and other technology companies.

However, public sector and media organisations, which score highly with white students, fail to make the grade with their counterparts from any of the ethnic minorities. The BBC, for example, which was rated highly by white respondents failed to make the Top 25 employer ranking of any of the ethnic groups.