How many students want to leave South Africa after graduating

Top employer branding company, Universum, has released the findings of a new students and working professionals survey in South Africa.

The research was based on a questionnaire completed by 45,927 students at higher education institutes, as well as 21,775 professionals with an academic degree from September 2017 – April 2018.

The average age of the students surveyed was 24 years old, with the responses indicating that they expected an average annual salary of R282,250 a year. These students said that their top career goal was to be ‘dedicated to a cause or to feel that I am serving a greater good’.

By comparison, the average age of the professionals surveyed was 34 years and the average (current) salary was R354,123. Their top career goal was to ‘enjoy a work/life balance’.

When choosing a position, the students said that their top preference was selecting a job which would allow for leadership opportunities. The professionals said their top preference for a job was working under a leader who would support their development.

Click on images to enlarge.

General profile for students

General profile for professionals


Next step for students 

73% of the surveyed students said that they would prefer to start working in South Africa after completing their education.

By comparison, 11% said that they wanted to move abroad (outside of Africa) to begin work.

Despite this strong desire to remain in the country, 82% of students said that they were ‘concerned’ about their job prospects, while just 3% of students said that they already had a job lined up for after they have they have completed their degree.

A high number of students said that they were planning to work in the private-sector, although they were not particularly picky about whether the company was international or locally based.

The next highest group of respondents said that they were planning to join government’s workforce, while around 12% of students said that they were planning to continue with their studies.

Just 1% of students said that they were looking to take time off.

Click on images to enlarge.


Read: These are the best and worst jobs to have in 2018

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