Jobs Are the Main Motivation for Students Going to College, Survey Finds



DECEMBER 9, 2021

Jobs are the main motivation for students to pursue higher education, a survey conducted by Chegg, an American education technology company, has revealed.

Responding to the question “what best describes the main motivation for going to [college/university]”, 21 percent of undergraduate students across all 21 surveyed countries said that it is because the career they want to pursue requires a degree that motivates them to go college, while 19 percent because they want to broaden their job prospects,

Furthermore, another 19 percent said that the main motivation for them was their passion for the subject and 14 percent pointed out that they are motivated to go to university because they want to increase their earning potential.

On the other hand, 7 percent chose to go to college just because they were expected to, 5 percent to experience the social life of a student, another 5 percent to get to know new people who can help them in the future, while 4 percent chose to continue higher education due to few job opportunities available.

According to the survey, for 35 percent of students from France, the main motivation to go to college is that the specific career they want requires a degree. Similarly, 13 percent of surveyed students from Australia, 28 percent from Germany, and 26 percent from Canada have highlighted the same reason.

Meanwhile, 27 percent of students from Mexico said that they want to go to college to increase their earning potential. Other students who mentioned the same reason are from the following countries:

  • 23 percent from Malaysia
  • 19 percent from Argentina
  • 19 percent from Germany
  • 17 percent from the US
  • 16 percent from Canada

The survey has also found that 76 percent of students in emerging economies believe that their education is preparing them well for the labor market, compared to 63 percent in developed countries who claim the same.

87 percent of students who believe that their education is preparing them well for the job market come from Indonesia, 85 percent from China, 81 percent from Brazil, and 79 percent from Mexico and Saudi Arabia, respectively.

Differently, 32 percent of students from South Korea disagreed that their education is preparing them well for the job market. At the same time, 31 percent of students from Japan and 27 percent of students from Russia believe that they are not being helped for the job market through education in their country.

The same survey has revealed that the majority of international students have faced mental health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with 81 percent of them reporting increased stress and anxiety.

All surveyed countries are:

  • Brazil
  • US
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Mexico
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Turkey
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Indonesia
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • France
  • Malaysia
  • South Korea
  • China
  • Russia
  • Italy