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Race affects student choices, study suggests

05 Sep 2007

Race affects student choices, study suggests Students' ethnicity affects their job choices, according to new research.

A survey by European research firm Universum polled 7,763 students on what their considered their "ideal job" to be.

6,006 students described themselves as white, 269 were mixed race, 624 were of Asian origin, 529 of Chinese origin, 129 were black and 192 "other".

It was revealed that UK students from Asian and Chinese backgrounds typically aspired to jobs in the financial sector.

One-third of students of Chinese origin said investment banking was their ideal job, with HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs all rating highly as employers.

This was compared to just eight per cent of white students, whose top jobs were found to be with the BBC, the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.

Some 48 per cent of white students were studying for humanities or arts degrees, compared with 24 percent of Chinese students and 26 per cent of Asians.

While 36 per cent of Chinese students had chosen to take business-related degrees, just 15 percent of white students had done the same.

As reported by the Student Times, Suneal Housley, a consultant at Universum, said: "The questions that arise are complex ones: are these differences the result of cultural preferences being perpetuated within different communities?

"Or do these figures represent a failure of some employers to address the interests of a more ethnically diverse talent pool?

"The answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. There is more to be done by families, peers and companies to demonstrate the vast range of opportunities and offerings available to all graduates regardless of ethnic background."

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