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    More than 120 current university students were asked to describe their transition from education to employment in July 2020, this is what they said...
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COVID-19 Impact

120+ Participants

6 States & Territories


Latest Snapshot:COVID-19 Impact120+ Participants6 States & Territories

Snapshot Summary

Read the summary of our findings from the July 2020 Student Snapshot Survey below.

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Striver Snapshot: Are university students confident about their employment prospects during the global pandemic?

Striver Snapshot: Are university students confident about their employment prospects during the global pandemic?

For employers who are looking to invest in the growth and sustainability of their businesses, the findings of this survey offer insight and opportunities to attract and retain the best emerging talent.


Written by Melanie Nguyen, Striver Community Manager.

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is adding extra complexity to the transition from education to employment roadmap for a generation of students and prospective graduates in Australia.


Are there opportunities for educators and employers to give them a boost? 


Our findings from July 2020 revealed that overall, students lack the confidence - 70% reported to be not confident to somewhat confident - in their chances of attaining full-time relevant employment upon graduation, given the economic and employment conditions. 

Their priorities for the next 6 to 12 months reflect this sentiment:

  • Respondents doubled-down on aspects of their employability within their control. In which 63% of respondents identified that finishing their studies remains a top priority in the next 6 to 12 months. 
  • While 49% of students also indicated that upskilling or learning a new skill was very important during their studies and 43% said that engaging in extracurricular activities was important to their employability.
  • Only 39% were focussed on finding relevant graduate employment and 33% were focused on finding immediate casual employment.

What is the impact to employers?


It depends how you interpret the numbers, but one thing is clear - employers should shift their focus from traditional candidacy indicators towards a more holistic evaluation of a candidate profile.

  • Be aware that the youth unemployment has grown during the pandemic, from 11.5% in December 2019, to 16.1% in May 2020 (ABS, 2020). Hence students had limited opportunity for paid employment, and may have missed out on satisfying the traditional criteria of paid work experience in their application.
  • The ability to gain, grow and showcase key employability skills can also manifest in volunteering or extra-curricular activities. Since 1 in 2 students have indicated that they intend to upskill through extra-curricular activities in the immediate future; employers can expect to see more volunteer or unpaid work experience in a candidate’s work history.
  • Given students have reported the lack of satisfactory support through their education providers, prospective employers may need to assess graduates’ job-readiness with the peripheral consideration to further develop graduates into their role(s).

Have students’ needs and wants in an employer changed during the pandemic?


Given that students are looking for certainty in a time of uncertainty, they are looking for an environment where they can thrive. 
  • Majority of students look for workplace culture congruence - with 83% reported that culture was an important attribute in their future employer and 58% reported that organisational leadership and internal working dynamics were an important factor to consider.
  • The opportunity for continued professional development was as important to students, where 4 in 5 students prioritised this attribute more often than the starting salary or regular promotions in a particular role.
  • This suggests that there is more merit in promoting to graduates the potential for personal and professional growth within the employer organisation, rather than the standalone promotion or the remuneration opportunities. 

This notion is supported by a study in 2017, in which 14,000 students from 38 universities in Australia revealed that Millennials are willing to work for companies that do-good despite the lure of higher salaries (and ultimately avoid companies with a ‘bad image’) (Adecco, 2020).

Have students’ perception of the Financial Planning Profession changed?


Students reported to have a neutral-positive perception of the profession. There were 3 times more students who had a ‘very positive’ opinion, compared to those who had an ‘overall negative’ opinion of the profession.

Even though the 66% of respondents self-indicated that they know the industry moderately to extremely well, there was evidence to suggest that there are still areas of the profession in which students need clarification. 
  • Students are not fully aware of the role and responsibilities of a financial planner - given that 77% of respondents indicated that they are interested to find out what a financial adviser does in their role;
  • Insights into the work-life balance of a financial planner is a topic of interest for 46% of respondents; and 
  • The career progression of a typical adviser was also another top topic that 34% of respondents were interested to know more.


So what’s next for students navigating the education-employment transition?

While it is difficult to tell what the future holds, there are aspects of the transition that are in your control.


For employers who are looking to invest in the growth and sustainability of their businesses, these findings offer insight and opportunities to attract and retain the best emerging talent. It may take time and extra resources to debunk the data and identify how to action it for your business’s needs. With more than 8 years of experience and more than 500 successful placements, Striver can help you match your resourcing needs with the most suitable part-time and graduate candidates in the market. 


For the full report and findings from the ‘Striver Snapshot: Are university students confident about their prospects during the global pandemic?’ click the link below: