Who has the most Influence over young people's career decisions?


The two key ‘human’ influencers for a school/ college student during the career decision- making process are their parents and their teachers.

Teachers are most important at the information gathering, advice and guidance stage. AllAboutSchoolLeavers research shows that 58.46% of pupils go to their teachers to find out about specific companies and their school/college leaver job opportunities, while only 32.15% go to their parents to access this information.

Teachers are the third most popular source
 of information for school and college leaver career opportunities, behind Google (81.51%) and careers advice/job websites (58.75%), while parents are the fifth most popular source, behind careers events at schools/colleges (36.27%).

However, when it comes to students actually making decisions about which overall route
to follow, parents/guardians are the most important influencers.

AllAboutSchoolLeavers research shows a huge 80.75% of school/college students say that their parents help them make key career decisions. What’s more, 61.25% of survey respondents deem that parents have “the most influence” on their career decisions, while only 28.46% believe that teachers and careers advisers have the most influence.

Employers should concentrate on targeting teachers when trying
to raise awareness of their specific company and spreading the word about their own company’s opportunities for school leavers.

Read more:

When do young people explore their options?

What do young people want from post-school choices?

However, when engaging with the target audience from a wider industry perspective, i.e. working to raise awareness of their industry as whole or generally raising the profile of apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and sponsored degrees, it would be advisable for you to focus primarily on reaching parents with these messages.

Parents are more responsible for students making the ‘big’ decisions about their future,
i.e. “you should consider alternatives to university” or “have you considered working in engineering?” After all, parents are typically the ones who will also be responsible for helping to fund their children through university.

Teachers, on the other hand, are vital in helping school and college students to refine their choices once those big, headline decisions have been made, i.e. “Ok, so you don’t necessarily want to go to university and you fancy engineering, have you considered applying to this company’s apprenticeship scheme?” Show parents the bigger picture, and share the specific details with teachers.


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