Nearly 89% of Hong Kong’s most recent batch of university graduates found a job within three months of leaving school, and the majority of them (76%) are satisfied with their position, according to the latest jobsDB Survey on the Employment Status of Hong Kong’s Tertiary Students 2016.
The survey canvassed the opinion of 757 local graduates and undergraduates from various disciplines. It revealed that fresh graduates are getting an average monthly salary of HK$14,685 in their first job, which is higher than 2015’s HK$13,413.
Undergraduates on the move
According to the jobsDB student survey, 7 percent of undergraduates are planning to take working holiday rather than go directly to work after they graduate, compared to 2 percent in 2015. The percentage of students who intend to continue their studies remains steady at 12 percent.
The top three job industries for undergraduates to target when they do leave school are accounting (20 percent), advertising/PR/marketing services (11 percent) and the civil service (10 percent).
This year, over twice as many respondents (41 percent) want to stay in their first job for more than three years, compared with just 20 percent last year, which may indicate a preference for stability amidst economic uncertainty. In particular, over a quarter (27 percent) would like to stay between three to five years.
Students value salary and benefits most (27 percent) when choosing jobs, followed by room to develop their interests (15 percent), company environment, culture and reputation (11 percent), job security and stability (11 percent) and career development and on-the-job training (10 percent). A lot of them (56 percent) expect a monthly salary of more than HK$14K, compared to 41 percent in 2015.
See: Code of Practice for Employment Agencies in Hong Kong Introduced
This focus on money is in-line with the students’ targets for the first five years after graduation. The number one target (29%) was buying property. Among them, 32 percent think that they have a high or extremely high chance of achieving it. The second target was reaching management level (17 percent) and the third, living independently (12 percent).
Optimists outnumber the pessimists
While doing the best to achieve their goals, undergraduate students also experience stress. Most of it comes from high personal expectations (23%), work (20%), and financial concerns (15%).
Among the 29 percent of respondents who feel pessimistic about their potential careers, the main reason includes the fear of keen competition within their target industry (14%) and market demand for their skills (14%).
Fortunately, majority of undergraduate students (71%) feel optimistic about their careers, which is even higher than 2015 (60%). These students are confident about the future development of their target industry (16%) and their own competitiveness within the industry (16%).
“The results of the survey speak for themselves. With the right conditions, employers can expect to retain many of their fresh graduates for three years or more. However, they can do even better if they take steps to reduce work-related stress and career worries, for example by focusing on career development and training,” said Justin Yiu, General Manager of Jobs DB Hong Kong.
“Being the most popular sectors, it may be easier for organisations of accounting, advertising/PR/marketing services and the civil service to attract good graduates. As for other industries, HR managers could look at what graduates value most when choosing jobs. Apart from boosting starting salaries, they may consider developing better employer branding, and fostering a work culture and environment that appeal to young people, so as to capture and keep top quality talent in the long term,” Yiu added.
Also added: Hong Kong’s Top 10 Talent Trends for 2017
Image credit: cpro.hkbu.edu.hk