More than a quarter of Brits left school without any career advice

More than a quarter of British students left secondary school without any careers advice, a recent study reports. 

The YouGov survey of more than 2,000 adults, which was commissioned by Oxford Open Learning Trust, and career change advice tool The Profession Picker, looked into the advice Brits received at school and how they felt about choosing their future career.

According to the results, only three out of 10 adults knew the career they wanted pursue after leaving secondary school and more than one in 10 (12%) felt that they chose their career pathway too young. 

The study also shows that just under a quarter (24%) of workers currently in a career say that this is what they thought they would end up doing when they left secondary school. 

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The poll also found that many Brits feel as though they were pushed into a particular career, with just nine per cent of respondents saying they thought the advice they received in school was impartial. 

A significant proportion of respondents also felt that their schools pushed them towards going to university. Despite rising tuition fees over the years, half of 18-24 year olds felt that they were steered towards higher education, compared to 28% of 25-34 year olds, and 17% of 35-44 year olds. 

The results also show that nearly a fifth (19%) of adults felt pushed towards going to university, while just two per cent said they were pushed towards an apprenticeship. 

In addition, almost a quarter (24%) of 18-24 year olds also felt as though their secondary school pushed them towards studying certain subjects, compared to 17% of 25-34 year olds. 

In terms of careers advice given by parents and guardians, almost a third (31%) say they had limited career advice to give them, but 42% felt supported by parents and guardians in their eventual choice of careers. 

Dr Nick Smith, courses director and founder of Oxford Open Learning Trust, is shocked by the results.

He said: “Many Brits received very different careers advice to the guidance offered in schools today. It is interesting to see the differences in generations and how they feel their secondary school pushed them towards studying certain subjects or going to university.

“We were shocked to discover so many people felt the careers advice they received in secondary school wasn’t impartial and that they felt pushed into one career or another. Despite there being more jobs available, many still feel they are being forced to choose a career path at 16 and this is one of the reasons there are so many career changers in their twenties."