In the current war for talent, young potentials make an interesting target group for many enterprises. In this case, we are talking about recent graduates who gained the necessary basic knowledge at school and who can be shaped and trained further within the organization. But what do these millennials think about their future career, how do they face future employers and which role does entrepreneurship play in this choice?
Antwerp Management School recently studied this for you as a partner of the international GUESS consortium, in which more than 1,000 universities in 50 countries were involved. In this study, more than 122,000 students from diverse disciplines in higher education worldwide (economics, law, science, medicine, psychology, etc.) were queried about their future career choice and entrepreneurial ambitions. We gladly share with you the principal international insights.
Ambitions after graduating
In times when entrepreneurship is hot and trendy, we see that the overall majority of students (80.3%) still prefer a career as an employee immediately after graduating. The highest score was for students who prefer a job in a big enterprise (23.8%), closely followed by a career in a medium-sized enterprise (20.3%). A mere 14.9% of the students opts for a job in a small enterprise, which is still higher than the preference for a governmental career (10.9%).
"The overall majority of students (80.3%) still prefer a career as an employee immediately after graduating."
Furthermore, we can stipulate that 8.8% of the students indicate that they want to be active as an entrepreneur in their own enterprise after graduating. 2.6% would rather prefer to acquire an existing company, which may or may not be in the hands of family members. However, about 1 in 5 students (21.9%) reports that they are already taking the necessary steps to prepare for their own business in the future.
Ambitions after 5 years
When we gauge the students’ future career intentions within a period of 5 years after graduating, the significance of entrepreneurship is highlighted to an even greater extent, as 38.2% of the students would then prefer to be active as an entrepreneur in their own enterprise. In other words, many students prefer to start working as an employee after graduating, and make the transition to self-employment within a period of 5 years. This pattern of “first an employee, then an entrepreneur” is generally confirmed in several countries involved in this study. See also the above-mentioned graph.
"Students whose parents are equally engaged in a self-employed activity, clearly show more interest in becoming active as an entrepreneur in the future."
When we zoom in on students with entrepreneurial ambitions, we can establish that three factors play an influencing role in this. Female students have a substantially lower intention to become a self-employed entrepreneur than male students. Students whose parents are equally engaged in a self-employed activity, clearly show more interest in becoming active as an entrepreneur in the future and they are positively influenced by the success of the self-employed activity of their parent(s). This confirms the importance of parents as entrepreneurial role models.
Entrepreneurial business families
An interesting target group are students who are part of an entrepreneurial business family. Almost 1 in 5 of the queried students (18-5%) indicates having a family business at home. 61.7% of these students have already worked in the family business in the past, and almost half of them (48.7%) indicate they are already a shareholder in the family business. Concerning the future transfer of the family business, the majority (61.5%) of these sons and daughters indicate that maintaining the harmony within the family is most important, while 38.5% rather put the long-term continuity of the business first.
"The better the performance of the family business compared to the competition, the stronger their intention to someday become active as a successor in the family business."
To the question whether these sons and daughters have a strong intention of becoming a successor in the family business themselves one day, 1 in 3 students answers affirmative. The survey revealed that the majority (62.6%) see themselves taking over the family business within a period of 6 years at the earliest. Finally, we can also establish that the better the performance of the family business compared to the competition in terms of turnover, market share, profit, employability and innovation, the stronger their intention to someday become active as a successor in the family business.
You are an entrepreneur and want to gain extensive insights into the specific numbers of our country? Come to our inspiration night on December 11 about HR 4.0 at Antwerp Management School and discover what our Belgian students think about their career and the role of entrepreneurship.