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Survey Says: Poor Information on Career Opportunities Costing Students Jobs

February 11, 2012

Nearly half of young people are missing out on career opportunities due to a lack of information from schools and universities, and despite having the skills employers want, according to a new survey by CompTIA, the non-profit trade association for the IT industry.

The new research shows that 41 percent of students do not feel well-informed about the range of careers open to them. Only 13 percent feel their education institutions have fully equipped them to make career decisions.

CompTIA surveyed more than 1,000 students to understand what motivates them. The survey was designed to look at the skills gap in IT and technology careers.

The majority of respondents showed themselves to have skills employers want. They are hard working (89 percent), quick learners (79 percent), good at solving problems (76 percent), have communication skills (71 percent) and are able to work in a team (78 percent).

Furthermore, most students are ambitious with a clear idea of what they expect from their future professions. A good salary (85 percent), variety (66 percent) and ongoing development (62 percent) are the most important considerations.

CompTIA terms these people MEMOs – Motivated, Educated and Missing Out. MEMOs have the right skills and ambitions for a successful career but lack information about the opportunities open to them and how to get there.

Respondents in the CompTIA survey want schools and universities to do a lot more to help them understand career options:

• 55 percent want information integrated into school lessons about what careers different subjects can lead to
• 61 percent feel they need more information about careers other than those directly related to their field of study
• 51 percent want better careers advice at school or university.

This trend is particularly notable in IT and technology, which is struggling to attract the 110,400 new entrants a year it needs to keep up with the industry’s growth.

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