Studies show students are feeling optimistic about their careers

University students
new research has revealed the majority of students enrolled in Australian universities feel optimistic about their professional futures. Image: Shutterstock

New research, commissioned by online study support service Studiosity, reveals students are feeling optimistic about future employment opportunities despite COVID

If you’re a uni student, chances are you’ve been through a lot in the last few years – navigating lectures, exams and major milestones like graduations and internships remotely without any of the fun, face-face social stuff. 

Yet, despite all the challenges and never-ending Zoom sessions, new research has revealed that the majority of students enrolled in Australian universities are actually feeling pretty optimistic about their future pathways. 

The research, commissioned by leading online study support service Studiosity and conducted by independent agency The Student Edge, found that:

  • Almost two thirds (63%) of students feel optimistic about finding a job related to their degree
  • 9 out of 10 students (89%) believe what they are studying will be relevant to their future career path
  • Northern Territory students are the most optimistic (85%), followed by Tasmanian students (67%), followed by Victorian students (65%)
  • Postgraduate students are slightly more optimistic (69%) than undergraduates (60%)
  • Males are slightly more optimistic (67%) compared to females (61%)
  • Levels of optimism vs. pessimism were consistent across both regional/ remote and metro students

Pathway pessimism 

While the study suggests that the majority of tertiary students are clearly stoked about kickstarting their careers, it also offers up interesting insight into why some aren’t as hopeful. The leading reason for pessimism in students? Reduced job and networking opportunities due to COVID.

Yep, according to the Studiosity data, increasing numbers of students have become concerned that they missed out on making valuable connections while studying online. 

For the less confident students (16%), almost 6 out of 10 (57%) said they’d feel better if their uni offered up more internship and practical work experience opportunities, followed by more careers counselling and career seminars. Around 1 in 10 (13%) believe additional study support to improve their grades will help increase their job prospects too.

Judyth hopes that we can continue to increase belonging on campus, while also keeping the inclusivity and innovation that came from sudden adaptation in 2020. Image: Studiosity

“It’s pleasing to see that a significant majority of students are feeling optimistic about their future,” stresses Chief Academic Officer at Studiosity Professor Judyth Sachs.

“However, it’s also clear that some students have found it difficult to adjust to amidst the loss of the ‘student experience’ and the usual connection and social opportunities that are part of studying on-campus.”

As we head into the 2022 academic year, Professor Judyth Sachs emphasis the importance of seeking out peer support programs, virtual networking events and extra study support from your chosen uni. 

“Research shows that students benefit from peer support and peer-to-peer learning programs, and that it increases confidence and sense of belonging in students,” she says.

“Students learn best when they have a range of different study support options at their figure tips that are easily accessible to them 24/7. It’s clear that Australian universities are looking holistically at their whole-of-institution approach to student services.”

If you’re keen to network, get out there and dive into face-to-face opportunities now that the world has (sort of calmed down), check out graduate programs, mentorship info and the benefits of joining a student club. 

More info on Studiosity can be found here. 

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Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.

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