Vast majority of leading business students are willing to travel for the right job, says KPMG

According to a KPMG survey, 91 per cent of leading business students expect to work in at least three to four countries during their careers, with 41 per cent thinking they might work in as many as six countries.

In the survey of 90 talented business students from universities in 23 countries, which was conducted during the KPMG International Case Competition (KICC), 84 per cent of students said they were prepared to move country regularly for the right job.

In addition to the students’ willingness to travel for the right work, they were also very clear that they are looking for rewards from their career that go beyond pay and benefits. The majority of students (84 per cent) said it was important that the work they do in the future ‘drives positive and sustainable change in society’.

Sixty-one per cent of the students said they had a clear idea of which profession they wanted to work in once they finish their studies. The most popular choices of the business-focused students were finance (37 per cent) and professional services (27 per cent). Despite only 16 per cent selecting technology as their chosen profession, 61 per cent said they thought that this industry would be the most successful over the next 20 years.

When questioned on the global economy, it was clear that the global financial crisis of 2008 has had an impact on the students, but they were confident that they could ride out any future crisis. Fifty-one per cent said they were worried about another global financial crisis happening while they were in the workforce; however, 57 per cent said they do not believe that global economic instability will make it harder for them to find work.

Rachel Campbell, global head of people at KPMG International, said: ‘The findings of this survey make clear what graduates expect of their future employers. It is clear that in today’s highly connected world, graduates will not necessarily be happy being tied to one organisation or indeed one country for their entire career.

‘This makes it very important that business offers mobility as well as a variety of career paths. As many graduates could go on to have two or three different careers, an organisation that can genuinely offer multiple careers has an opportunity to differentiate itself.’

Only 21 per cent of students thought it was ‘somewhat likely’ or ‘very likely’ that they would work for the same company for their entire career, with 35 per cent thinking it was ‘not likely at all’. Nearly all of the students (92 per cent) felt that having an extensive global network would help to build a good career.