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Career Expectations VS Reality

You might not know this, but the Government often asks thousands of people across the country to answer different surveys every year to get an insight into their life. Not only do they ask people they also use information from National Statistics to put together a picture of life in the UK.

This blog explores a few things. Firstly, what has changed for 18-year olds since they were born. Whether that’s what you do in your spare time to what you expect to do in your career. We’ll then loo­­k at job comparisons between what 16 to 21-year olds expected to do in the future compared to what 22 to 29-year olds actually do. And we promise to make it interesting!

If you’re 18 you’re going to live longer…

You’re likely to live 2 years longer in you were born in 2000 compared to those who were 18 in the year 2000! Who knows, part of the reason you could live longer is because you don’t spend as long married to your significant other… Only 683 people who were 18 tied the knot in 2015, this is five times fewer than at the start of the millennium!

This could also be due to the fact that the number of 18-year olds has continually decreased since 2009 – no wonder there’s fewer marriages – fewer people to choose from!

We all knew it, but TV is coming to an end…

The amount of time that 18-year olds spend computing and using computers and computer games has increased dramatically. Interestingly so has Sports – getting a gym membership has made a difference. Despite that fact most of us dust the kit once every few months and spend 20 minutes on the treadmill – guilty! However, 18-year-olds spend half an hour less per day socialising than 18-year-olds at the start of the millennium. This could just be due to the fact that now there is Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and much more that we can socialise on too… 

If you’re 18, you’re not likely to work…

The recession can be quite boring to talk about, but it did have a big impact on the working lives of young people. Since then the number of people in jobs has significantly declined.

Since then, the number of 18-year-olds in work has usually been outnumbered by those who are neither looking for, nor available for, work – people known as “economically inactive”. These include many of the 18-year-olds in higher education, whose numbers continue to rise.

Jobs that 22 – 29 year olds have changed

Since 2011, people with jobs in the Construction & Building Trades have decreased the most whereas IT & Telecommunications have increased massively! This goes to show that something you may not consider now could be a massive opportunity in the future, who knows what job you could be doing…

Doing a degree may not have been worth it…

47% of 16 to 21-year-olds in 2015 to 2016 thought it was very likely that they would go into higher education. In reality, 38% of people had degrees as their highest qualification in 2017.

In fact, 12% of non-graduates aged 22 to 29 were working in a graduate job in 2017. This compares with 54% of graduates in the same age group who had a graduate job. Crazy, we know! So, it’s really come to light that actually, you might not even need a degree to get the graduate role you’ve dreamed of – just be yourself!

Salaries aren’t quite where people expected…

Some of those young people were much more ambitious in their expectations for their future earning potential, with 5% thinking they could earn £80,000 or more at the age of 30.

In reality, 2% of 30-year-olds currently earn £80,000.



  • Author: Jenny Dallas
  • Published On: 02/11/2018


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