• Type: Press release
  • Date: 4/4/2014

Leading Students Prepared to Travel for Right Job 

Ninety-one percent of leading business students expect to work in at least three to four countries during their careers with 41 percent thinking they might work in as many as six different countries. In a KPMG survey of 90 talented business students from leading universities in 23 different countries conducted during the KPMG International Case Competition (KICC), 84 percent of students said they were prepared to move country regularly for the right job.

The KPMG survey sought to understand the expectations and drivers of today’s leading business students – tomorrow’s business leaders. 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 percent) said it was important that the work they do in the future ‘drives positive and sustainable change in society’.

Sixty-one percent 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 percent) and professional services (27 percent). Despite only 16 percent selecting ‘technology’ as their chosen profession, 61 percent 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 percent said they were worried about another global financial crisis happening while they were in the workforce, however, 57 percent do not believe that global economic instability will make it harder for them to find work.

Rachel Campbell, Global Head of People, 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 organization 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 organization that can genuinely offer multiple careers has an opportunity to differentiate itself.”

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

Iain McLaughlin, Global Head of Resourcing, KPMG International said: “the competition for top talent is intensifying, it is crucial that employers understand what graduates are looking for, not just in the first few years of their job, but across their entire career. The majority of students that we surveyed had a clear idea what profession they want to work in, and that whichever profession that is, it must enable them to contribute to society and work for a business that shares their desire to give something back.”

The KPMG International Case Competition (KICC) final is taking place this week in São Paulo. Teams of four students from 23 countries are competing in challenges to review and develop solutions to a number of business case studies. Run over the course of four days, teams will be judged by a panel of senior KPMG Partners.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Walters

Director of Communications,
Office of the Global Chairman

+ 44 7919 393753

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have more than 155,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG member firm is a distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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