New market research released reveals that, following a turbulent year, three quarters (75%) of current university students and recent graduates surveyed in Birmingham want personal growth opportunities as much as career progression.

Two thirds (66%) surveyed agree that they have experienced fewer ‘breakthrough moments’ throughout the pandemic – moments in time where they felt they were progressing in their life, studies or work.

The national survey of 2,000 students and recent graduates for Get into Teaching1 - the national campaign aimed at encouraging people to consider teaching as a career – explores this group’s views on what moments of personal achievement mean to them and how this is impacting their future career decisions.

Against a backdrop of a competitive jobs market, many young adults are now deliberating their next steps - including what professional and personal achievements they are aspiring to in their future careers. For many of this group in Birmingham (40%), “breakthrough moments” in a future job role or career could mean having a positive impact on people’s lives.

In step with this, almost three fifths (58%) credit their teachers from their time at school, for equipping them to achieve ‘breakthrough moments’ in their life so far. For almost a third (30%) of those students and recent graduates surveyed in Birmingham, the pandemic has highlighted that a collection of smaller wins can be more meaningful than a big success, and nearly 1 in 4 (24%) are seeking daily moments of satisfaction in a future job role.

Mia Bano, 26, a primary school teacher at Arden Primary School, Birmingham, said: “Breakthrough moments, however small or large, are a part of school life for both teachers and students. Knowing that you can have such a positive impact on people’s lives that extends well beyond the classroom makes teaching a very special job role.

“For me there is no feeling like it when my pupils enter the classroom with a real zest for learning. To be greeted with their smiling faces and knowing that this is the environment that will spark their creativity and nurture their curiosity is pretty special."

According to separate data published earlier this year, applications for graduate vacancies increased by more than 40% year-on-year, despite employers reducing their graduate recruitment by 15% last year.

Roger Pope, spokesperson for the Get Into Teaching campaign and a National Leader of Education, said: “Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic many students and graduates are re-evaluating their future career plans and considering which industries, or parts of society, they want to work in. Our research highlights how the newest entrants to the jobs market are looking for a career that offers opportunities for personal growth alongside traditional career progression opportunities.

“I would urge anyone who is motivated by the prospect of work that has meaning and purpose - where your achievements are rooted in helping young people to flourish in the world - to consider teaching as a career. In teaching, no two days are the same but it is also a stable career with exciting career progression opportunities.”

To coincide with the research findings, Guvna B, the MOBO award-winning artist, author and broadcaster has released a video in collaboration with the Get Into Teaching campaign. The spoken word piece highlights the considerable impact his teachers had on his life and prompts young adults to consider a career that helps to shape the next generation.

He said: “My teachers have played such a huge role in my life, my primary school teacher in particular influenced the path I took, she was a catalyst for many successes I’ve experienced. I was often getting into trouble at school, but she saw my potential and talent for writing and made me realise that if I put my mind to it, I could really be something.

“She gave me the aspiration I needed to knuckle down. I’d love for more young people to consider teaching as a career so they can help invest in the next generation of world changers!”

As a teacher you can help create a society where everyone, wherever they live, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, education or age has the opportunity to succeed. For anyone interested in teaching as a career, the Get Into Teaching service has experienced advisers available to give free support and advice.