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Millennials seeking worthwhile and secure careers

A Get Into Teaching survey found that emotional rewards are a key career motivator for a new generation of university students and recent graduates

Posted by Julian Owen | December 01, 2017 | Teaching

Three-quarters (76%) of students and recent graduates feel that emotional rewards in their future career are equally – or more important – than practical ones. New research shows that young millennials, the newest entrants to the job market, are looking for personal fulfilment in their careers, with 52% wanting to feel their job is worthwhile. 

The survey of over 3,000 students and graduates, for the national Get Into Teaching campaign, found that this generation are motivated by altruistic goals with 43% wanting to make a positive contribution to society. Almost a third (31%) are also looking for a job that will make them feel proud.

Coming of age during the recession, and the changing world of work, may have influenced millennials: 47% report that good job security is an important practical element of their future career, with a further 35% saying clear progression routes are a key consideration.

Given these factors, the research found that the demographic view teaching as a positive career, with almost two-thirds (61%) feeling that being a teacher would provide more daily emotional rewards than most other careers. Moreover, almost half (44%) of current degree-level students and recent graduates say they have experience of working with young people on a voluntary basis, and three-quarters (77%) believe they would make a good teacher. Half of all respondents felt a teaching career would offer the opportunity to make a positive impact every day.

Commenting on the findings, Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: “As a lifelong teacher myself, I see how young people’s attitudes and ambitions change with the generations, which is something that helps to keep the teaching profession fresh, too. It’s fantastic to hear that so many students and graduates believe they would also make a good teacher.

The research also shows that students and graduates are looking for secure, fulfilling and impactful careers, which is why teaching should be a real consideration for them. It marries the things that this cohort cares most about: helping make a difference to other people and the world around us, whilst also allowing committed and dedicated professionals to pursue their own career goals. Pupils in school today will go on to do jobs that haven’t been invented yet, so this generation of tech-savvy, passionate graduates would do well in teaching, guiding our children and young people as they enter a world which is changing at a faster rate than we’ve ever seen.”

Furthermore, 90% of students and graduates also believe teaching would be a fulfilling career most or all of the time, with 58% believing teaching to be in the top five jobs that make a positive impact on society.

'New research shows that young millennials, the newest entrants to the job market, are looking for personal fulfilment in their careers.'

Anna Moylan, a Chemistry teacher from Chorlton High School in Manchester, said: “Teaching is a job that I’m incredibly proud to do. As a student I had lots of different avenues that were open to me. Ultimately, I wanted a career that was rewarding and teaching ticks all the boxes – I get to inspire people in a subject I’m passionate about, it is full of emotional rewards and a sense of worth. It is also a structured profession where I can continually develop my skills and look to progress. I would encourage anyone looking for a truly meaningful career to find about more about teaching.”

The Get Into Teaching team organises a calendar of online and face-to-face events, where students and graduates can speak to those within the profession and find out more about the teacher training options, school experience and the benefits a career in teaching offers.

Last month the funding available to trainee candidates in a range of subjects was announced, including a £26,000 tax-free bursary to train as a teacher in key subjects including science, computing, geography and languages. Candidates could get £30,000 to train to teach maths – a £20,000 tax-free bursary while training as a teacher and a further £10,000 after tax once in teaching. Alternatively, prestigious scholarships of up to £28,000 are available in priority subjects for graduates with a 2:1 or above who are passionate about their subject and have the potential to be teachers.

Applications to start teacher training in September 2018 are now open. For tailored advice and information about a career in teaching visit: or call the Get Into Teaching line on 0800 389 2500.

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