The Race For Talent: How Banks Can Keep Up With Graduates' Demands

Author:Mr Craig Cosham

While banking remains the most popular career choice for business students in the UK, increasing numbers are saying that they don't see financial institutions as being particularly innovative - an important consideration in their future careers.

Our latest research into students' expectations and aspirations for their careers found that, globally, banking has been knocked off the top spot by fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies. While FMCG businesses are presenting the main challenge, the technology sector is also proving increasingly popular to business students.

This competition for banks is also reflected in the choices being made by business students in the UK. Google and Apple were the top two employers of choice, scoring highly with 20.8% and 17.2% respectively.

While these organisations don't have a particularly large presence in Scotland, it has to be remembered that the draw of the City of London is a strong influence for graduates north of the border.

Nevertheless, banking's continued resilience as a career choice could be explained by its strong presence in Scotland's central belt, with many banks basing much of their operations in the region.

If banking wants to remain in the top spot and continue to attract the best talent, it must broaden its horizons and learn lessons from other industries. 

Our research found that, despite the damage done to the sector's reputation since the financial crisis, banking remains top of the pile with 23.1% of British students saying it was their preferred industry.

The motivations behind our respondents opting for a career in banking might come as a surprise. Although banking is often associated with large financial bonuses, students who were inclined towards the sector did not rate these forms of remuneration highly as part of their future career.

Instead, business students with ambitions in the banking sector want...

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