Oct 01, 2014


It goes without saying that how much people enjoy their job and how interested they are in it are huge factors in their overall engagement at work. This can be particularly crucial for graduates, who will no doubt be wanting to make a positive start to their career.

A recent US-based poll from Gallup, however, found there are substantial differences in work enjoyment and fulfilment among graduates from different disciplines. It revealed that while business is “by far the most common field of study among undergraduates”, those who graduate with a degree in this subject report the lowest levels of interest in the work they now do.

The survey compared the sentiments of graduates from four broad study disciplines – business, social sciences/education, sciences/engineering and arts/humanities. Just over a third (37 per cent) of business graduates said they agree with the statement, “I am deeply interested in the work that I do,” compared to 47 per cent for social sciences/education and 43 per cent for both sciences/engineering and arts/humanities.

Additionally, graduates with business degrees scored the lowest in “purpose well-being”. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, this is defined as people “liking what they do each day and being motivated to achieve their goals” – crucial drivers for engagement and success at work.

Business was the only category in which fewer than half (48 per cent) of graduates were found to be “thriving” in purpose well-being. Arts/humanities (53 per cent), sciences/engineering (54 per cent) and social sciences/education (56 per cent) all posted superior scores.

No matter which field of study your company's talent comes from, it is essential that they are fully engaged and interested in their work in order to deliver optimum performance. Organisations can play a massive role here to help graduates make the most of their potential.

With career progression highly valued by graduates, ongoing assessment tools such as Graduate Talent Assessment can help you accurately review your graduates' performance and identify opportunities for internal development.


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