By Guest Columnist William Frierson
Times are tough with the economy all round, but the financial services industry appears to be having a torrid time. Financial scandals coupled with changing business models have wreaked havoc with bottom lines during this prolonged downturn.
And issues like these have resulted in many graduates, who previously were keen to earn big money and work in 'the City', deciding that their futures lay elsewhere.
Here's 5 key reasons why UK graduates are increasingly giving a career in financial services a wide berth:
1. Job security - the economic outlook and regulatory and capital pressures have significantly impacted revenues in this sector. Job security (or the lack of it) is a significant negative factor when considering a career in financial services.
2. Financial reward - where once a career in banking & finance was seen as a quick way to riches and early retirement, this is no longer the case. Political pressure and demands to achieve a better balance between employee reward and shareholder value has meant that compensation ratios have come down (and will fall further).
3. Work / Life Balance - always known as an industry that works employees hard, job insecurity has resulted in employees having to put in even more hours to try and justify their existence. In addition, cuts in headcount increasingly means that workloads have increased for those who remain.
4. Stigma - five years on from the start of the financial crisis, bankers in particular are held in very low regard. Where once a young professional was proud to show off a business card that confirmed he / she worked at a large financial institution, that is no more. Scandal has followed scandal, and there appears to be no let-up.
5. Uncertain environment - with the industry under a microscope like never before, and in the midst of a significant economic downturn fraught with further political uncertainties (the break-up of the Euro, the stability of Greece and other European countries, etc), the future shape of the financial services industry is now in question. Likely to go through significant structural change over the coming years, it is difficult to see how a career in this sector will unfold.
William Frierson is a staff writer for CollegeRecruiter.com, the leading job board for college students who are searching for internships and recent graduates who are hunting for entry-level jobs and other career opportunities