Get into Teaching campaign findings revealed

Pride and purpose behind future career goals for Birmingham students.

Market research released today reveals that pride and a sense of purpose are among the top aspirations behind future career choices for current university students and recent graduates surveyed in Birmingham.

35% of university students and recent graduates surveyed in Birmingham believe that knowing they are making a difference in the world and 40 % believe feeling a sense of pride when telling someone what they do are among their top career aspirations.

The national survey of 2,000 current university students and those who have graduated within the last two years was carried out earlier this year for Get Into Teaching – the national campaign aimed at encouraging people to consider teaching as a career. It explores what this cohort believe they can bring to the workplace, as well as what they are seeking to gain from it.

Many young people will be at a crossroads this September – traditionally a time for personal reflection and setting new career goals – with new data from global jobs site Indeed revealing that graduate jobs postings in August this year declined by 28% compared to the same month last year2.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic many students and graduates are re-evaluating their future careers plans and considering which industries, or parts of society, they want to work in. Separate data shows there has been a major increase in teacher training applications in England over the last few months, compared to the same period last year3.

When it comes to attitudes to different sectors pre-Covid, the market research found that 41% of students and graduates surveyed in Birmingham view the teaching and education sector as serving one of the most important roles in society, alongside healthcare and social care.

The survey for Get Into Teaching also asked current teachers in England what they think are some of the key attributes required to do the job, as well as the aspects of their profession that would most appeal to potential new recruits.

33% of the students and graduates surveyed in Birmingham cited confidence and 30% determination amongst the qualities they most possess as a person. Nationally, teachers surveyed felt these same attributes (both 29%) helped in their teaching career, along with patience and a caring nature, when asked what helped them most to do their job well. Asked about the kind of things a career in teaching most enables them to do, 43% of teachers surveyed cited knowing that they are making a difference in the world.

Reflecting on his four years of teaching, Abed Ahmed (above), a maths teacher from King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls in Birmingham, said: “As a teacher, now more than ever, you know you’re playing your part in making a real difference in the world. It gives me a huge sense of pride, achievement and fulfilment in my own life.

“Teachers have the opportunity to inspire budding minds, which encourages your creative side to flourish too, and this is one of the parts of the job that I love the most. Like other careers, teaching is hard work but it’s a profession that builds and nurtures key skills like leadership and confidence and the emotional pay back is far greater than I ever anticipated.

“If people are looking for a job role that brings pride and a sense of purpose, teaching is certainly something you should take the time to find out more about.”

Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and a National Leader of Education, said: “Our research underlines just how much emphasis university students and graduates are placing on finding both purpose and a role they can be proud of in their future career. It’s also encouraging to see the qualities or attributes that students and graduates will bring to the workforce, are the same kind of characteristics that teachers say help them the most to do their job well.

“I would encourage anyone who is looking for a meaningful role that makes a difference to visit the Get Into Teaching website to find out more.”

The Get Into Teaching service has experienced advisers available to give free support and advice. For more information about teaching as a career and to register your interest visit here or call the Get Into Teaching line on 0800 389 2500.