The newly launched PPS Graduate Professional Index revealed that 73% of South Africa’s graduate professionals are confident in the future of their profession over the next five years, says Macy Seperepere, Manager: Professional Associations at PPS.
The main reasons for this positivity is because they believe that they work in a sought after profession (36%) and that they contribute positively to society (28%). The study was, conducted among over 3000 graduate professionals by PPS – the financial service provider focused on graduate professionals.
Seperepere says the results of the survey indicate that most professionals are proud of what they do and the fact that they help to make South Africa a better place for all its citizens. “Monetary reward is not high on their priority list as only 19% of the respondents listed earning capacity as a factor that has a positive effect on their confidence.”
It is interesting to note that of the 27% of the respondents who are not confident in the future of their profession, the prevalent factors that contribute towards their negativity are all external influences, says Seperepere.
“Political issues (42%) was the biggest concern, followed by economic conditions (27%), for those respondents who indicated they are not confident in the future of their professions.”
When breaking the responses down by age, it is noteworthy that 21% of the respondents who are positive in the future of their profession are between the ages 20-30 and 16% are aged 60 and above.
“It is very encouraging that the younger generation is optimistic about their future in South Africa, as this group will provide the skills to ensure the country runs smoothly for the foreseeable future.”
When it comes to encouraging their children to enter their specific profession, Seperepere explains that 55% of the respondents indicate that they would want their children to follow in their footsteps.
“The main reasons for this finding was that 43% viewed their skills as critically needed in the country and 32% would want their children in their same profession because they find it is a personally rewarding career. These results again reflect that financial reward is not the main reason these professionals would want their children to enter their professional occupations.
“Of the 45% of respondents who would not encourage their children to enter their profession, 45% said it is because they want their children to pursue a different profession to their own. 17% of these respondents also said that it is not a financially rewarding career,” says Seperepere.
When asked how unemployment affects their profession, 32% of the respondents stated that skilled professionals are resultantly unable to find appropriate jobs and are therefore moving overseas. She notes that these results are mirrored by an analysis of data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which show that South Africa has the highest number of highly skilled female professionals of any African country who are emigrating to other countries due to limited career opportunities.
“While it is very positive to note that our professionals are mostly confident in their future prospects of living and working in South Africa, it is clear that more has to be done to ensure our professional talent is retained in the country by increasing job opportunities for all South Africans,” concludes Seperepere.