Choice of studies: high school graduates yearn for security

HEIDELBERG. According to a recent survey, high school graduates are confident about their professional future. But career is not the only criterion when choosing a course.

For many high school graduates born in 2022, the first semester at university kicks off these days – and with an optimistic view of their professional future. That’s the result of a recent study of 1,000 high school graduates commissioned by the education company SRH, which runs private universities, schools, continuing education centers and hospitals. The researchers conclude that confidence and determination are high in the current year. According to the survey, 73% of respondents have positive expectations for their future and almost 64% rate their job prospects as good or very good – despite the war, the climate crisis and Corona.

Secondary school graduates hope for a secure professional future through training or education. Photo: Shutterstock

Studying is the number 1 plan for the future
The vast majority of 81.6% said they wanted to study or start an apprenticeship immediately after graduating from high school (technical). The university career continued to be the trend: 32% wanted to start a degree. Among future students, 15% tended to choose a private university.

70% of young people said they had a significantly or somewhat more difficult start to education or training due to Corona. One of the reasons given was that they had difficulty motivating themselves to study at home. In view of the prevailing debates on equal opportunities, scientists are surprised that the language and level of education of the parents of high school graduates have almost no influence on the evaluation of personal career opportunities.

Knowledgeable and safety conscious
More than 84% of respondents felt well informed about their training or study options. Thus, most of them (76%) already had an idea of ​​the job they would like to pursue one day.

A higher education degree or diploma also seems to meet a need for security. A “secure professional future” is the most frequently cited reason for undertaking studies. This motif received the rating of 2.1 and therefore the highest rating among all the relevant criteria for choosing a course. With this in mind, around a third (32%) choose a place of study close to their home, so that no move is necessary. About a quarter (24%) would move if the study location was attractive enough.

Mental health and sustainability are important
A growing, mainly sustainable and healthy lifestyle of young people is also reflected in the choice of studies. For example, prospective students expect universities to engage and provide concrete offers for variety, diversity and equality (36%), mental health (33%) and sustainability and climate protection. (32%).

The topic of guidance is also important for outgoing students with regard to the start of their studies. Especially at the start of their studies, they want to be able to make friends quickly and receive the best possible support from their teachers. More than 40% expect personal introductory events and nearly 38% expect a personal supervisor or student buddy. The criteria frequently cited in this area were “good support” and “staff ratio”.

Jörg Winterberg, head of the university department SRH, sees his company in a good position in view of the results. “We view our freshmen who are starting now as optimistic, goal-oriented, and with clear demands for their future college. Rightly so, we think,” he sums up. “These high school graduates have two difficult Corona school years behind them, during which they often lacked the support of school and teachers.” They now needed a well-structured learning environment, but above all good teaching and learning formats in order to succeed in your studies and take the right step towards your professional future.

About the study
In May and June 2022, the education and health company SRH commissioned the market research institute Management Consult to carry out an online survey among young people. 1,000 graduates in Germany who had just obtained their Abitur or higher technical college entrance qualification or were about to graduate were surveyed. Among them were 53% women, 46% men and nearly 1% diverse people. The average age was 19 years old. The majority of respondents (78%) attended a public school, 16% a private school and about 6% gave no information about their type of school. The majority of the 60% have German roots, about 20% have an immigrant background and 20% of the participants gave no information about their origin. The majority (75%) speak German in the household, around 15% other languages. About a third come from academic families, and almost half of mothers and fathers have had traditional vocational training or an apprenticeship. (zab, pm)

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