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HR News Update – Male students more keen on internships than females

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A survey of over 1,500 first year undergraduates from 70 different universities conducted by shows that men were more confident than women about getting work experience at a time when most students believe that the absence of work experience on a CV badly affects their prospects of a graduate job.

The survey by TARGETjobsasked first years how confident they were in landing an internship or a place on a vacation programme: 28 percent of male respondents said they were either confident or very confident, compared to: 18 percent of female respondents.

50 percent of female respondents said they were either not very confident or not confident at all, compared to: 37 percent of male respondents

When asked how many applications they think they would need to make to secure an internship or place on a vacation programme: 32 percent of male respondents said 5 or under, compared to: 24 percent of female respondents. All undergraduates recognised the importance of work experience when it came to applying for permanent jobs; more important than class of degree, interview performance, university and personal skills. But women, who are less confident about their chances and think they'll need to make more applications to secure a place, actually consider it a more important factor in getting a job after graduation than men.

It was a balanced sample of 1,500 first years with approximately a third of respondents studying arts and social science degrees, a third science and engineering and the rest management, business and law. Chris Phillips, Research Director at GTI Media/TARGETjobs said: “This is just one of many findings from this new survey of the career aims of first year undergraduates and the results should interest the growing number of graduate recruiters targeting students at the start of their studies. Work experience has never had a higher profile on campus so it’s sad that women’s expectations of success appear to be lower than men’s.”

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