What Influences Young People’s Future Plans?

Good pay is the most important factor for young people in their future job or career, according to new research.

Group of young people in classroom with career adviser

The study by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) explored the views of young people aged 11-18 years, specifically focusing on their plans after school, key influencers and their views and perceptions of careers.

Findings showed that when considering their future careers, good pay was by far the most important factor for young people, with job satisfaction a distant second. Young people are also influenced by their strengths and interests when considering what to do after school.

Over 1,500 young people participated in the research, which also found that being hard working and having the right qualifications are what young people think employers are most looking for from their employees.

The Young People in Scotland research was carried out between September and December 2022 with views gathered from a representative sample of 1,533 young people across Scotland. The fieldwork was undertaken by Ipsos Scotland with SDS’s Evaluation and Research team producing the analysis and outputs.

The study also found that the sectors that young people consider going into vary by gender, with males considering careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and sport, and females considering caring or creative careers.

Read the summary report.

View the equalities infographics.