The latest Sodexo-Times Higher Education University Lifestyle Survey draws an encouraging picture of students, who are keenly aware of the reality of the recession and the job market. The survey shows that the current crop of students is realistic when it comes to their job prospects. They are determined to finish their courses highly skilled, flexible and ready to snatch up good jobs.  2,000 full-time undergraduates took part in the survey.

What’s troubling you?

Rather than money being a top cause for students to worry, grades and study workload are the topics that concern students the most. 62% are concerned about the amount of time they have to devote to academic work.

The pressure of studies might also explain why 35% of students are worried about becoming lonely or cut off from friends.

Few students seem to be worried about finding a job, and this may reflect their knowledge of the job market and apparent care when choosing a course.

A third of students had considered dropping out of their courses. This was the first time students have been asked about dropping out in the Sodexo survey, so there is no way of analyzing whether this figure is good or bad in comparison to previous years.

Health and Happiness

35% did not enjoy the course they had chosen and 40% complained of health problems, including depression.

Many students skip meals like breakfast or lunch and 14% spend up to 20 hours a week enjoying social networking sites.

Living arrangements

In an effort to cut down on spending, the numbers of students choosing to live at home with their parents has grown to 17% (up from 13% in the last survey two years ago).

The Impact of the Recession

The survey demonstrates a positive and mature picture of current students. Although it is clear that students are struggling with a huge academic workload, their knowledge of the job market is good.

The desire for job security was frequently cited and some reported that they had returned to study after losing a job. Other students chose to go to university to improve their skills while the recession was in progress, hoping to come out into a more robust job market.

Students are aware of the need to appeal to employers and choose courses or modules in order to make themselves more attractive to recruiters. 11% of students admit to altering their career and study plans due to the recession.

Do you agree with the findings?  Post a comment below.