Graduates’ career preferences, by gender

Graduates’ career preferences, by gender


New research from independent graduate job-board has identified the career sectors showing the greatest disparities between female and male graduates last year.  The research also suggests that while female graduates are increasingly looking for careers in traditionally male-dominated sectors, the proportion of male graduates interested in female-dominated sectors has actually fallen over the past decade.

In 2013, the five sectors preferred by female graduates were:

1 – secretarial & business admin (75.77%),

2 – charities (70.16%),

3 – languages (68.68%),

4 – health (66.25%),

5 – travel & hospitality (34.15%). 

Since 2003, male graduates’ interest in all of these sectors has declined.

The sectors preferred by male graduates were:

1 – engineering (80.68%),

2 – sport & recreation (74.64%),

3 – utilities, including energy & telecoms (71.87%),

4 – architecture & construction (70.04%),

5 – manufacturing & production (69.20%). 

Yet in three of these sectors, there have been modest rises in the proportion of female graduates interested in them since 2003 – namely, increases of 2.37% in engineering, 1.07% in manufacturing & production and 1.05% in utilities.

The research also shows that the predominance of male graduates looking for jobs in the technological disciplines of digital media, IT and computing declined from 71.89% in 2003 to 65.78% last year, thus removing the sector from the top five in terms of gender disparity.

Ops director Gerry Wyatt notes that while efforts to combat the gender career divide are increasingly working for women, male graduates seem to be progressively more hesitant about considering roles in female-dominated job sectors.  “Careers advisers at schools and universities must ensure that they provide students with relevant information on the enormous number of career opportunities available,” he says.

“More resources need to be committed to helping men overcome the barriers that prevent them from pursuing careers in female-dominated industries.  There are high-quality careers which many simply aren’t considering, perhaps owing to a perception that their gender precludes them from applying.  They mustn’t let a misapprehension close any doors as they look to begin their careers.  Encouraging more men into female-dominated job sectors has the knock-on effect of easing the competition women face entering male-dominated sectors.”

● assessed the job sectors that over 580,000 graduate job-seekers registered to search for a career in on its site between 2003 and 2013.  This data was then segmented by gender and year before being analysed.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

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