MILAN - Every year, hundreds of thousands of young people reach school-leaving age with apprehension and uncertainty. Their main concern, however, is not regarding the written or oral exam (39%): almost one in two school leavers (47%) is undecided about what to do after leaving school. A study by the Sanpellegrino Campus* reveals that 46% of school leavers wait for the end of the exams, while there are those who even postpone the decision until September (17%) after spending a last carefree summer. What did the most resolute choose? Mainly universities (48%) and study-work training schemes (24%), but there are also those who prefer to launch themselves exclusively into the world of work (21%).
This is what emerges from a study promoted by the Sanpellegrino Campus, conducted with WOA (Web Opinion Analysis) methodology on about 2,500 school leavers by online monitoring on the main social networks, forums and communities dedicated to understanding their state of mind and preferences related to post-school life.
What was the state of mind of school leavers in the last year of studies? Apprehension (64%) and emotion (55%) are the most common feelings for what will be one of the highlights of their young lives, while the most optimistic faced the last year with a positive approach (49%) and determination (44%). What is the cause of this concern? Surprisingly, post-school is more frightening than exams: almost one in two school leavers (47%) say they are unsure about what to do next, a significantly higher percentage than those who are worried about writing and oral exams (39%). There are even those who are afraid of not even being admitted to the final exams (10%). Indecision, also due to a lack of orientation towards the world of work within their educational institution, was reported by almost one in three school leavers (31%).
When do school leavers decide what to do after leaving school? The majority (46%) wait for the end of the exams, with a significant percentage (17%) waiting even until September to enjoy a last carefree summer. Those who have clearer ideas, however, have already made a decision during the last year (28%), or even before the start of the current school year (9%). What will they do after leaving school? The majority will continue their education by going to university (46%) or alternate their education with internships (26%), while others decide to immerse themselves exclusively in the world of work immediately (21%) or even take a sabbatical year (7%).
The choice of continuing in education does not always lead to finishing the study cycle: according to the 2019 Almalaurea Report on educational choices and the employment status of the school leavers, one year after leaving school, for 14.8% of school leavers, the choice of university did not prove to be a winner, with 6.3% deciding to leave university during the first year, while a further 8.5% are currently enrolled at university but have already changed university or degree course. That Italy is not a country for graduates is something that emerges from the latest study by the OECD, the Organisation of the most developed countries in the world, from which it emerges that only 18% of Italians graduate from university, compared to an average 37% of the entire OECD area.
What types of study courses would they like to take? Almost one in three school leavers (31%) tend more towards a degree course in the economic and social field, others opt for humanistic studies (27%), engineering (29%) and scientific studies (19%). By which criterion is the course of study chosen? 33% chose it by following what they feel more inclined to, while the more far-sighted (27%), choose based on potential job opportunities. 24% opt for choosing a path that is consistent with previous studies. While 16% base their choice on an offer from the university closest to their place of residence.
How do school leavers gather information when choosing their course of study? The majority (61%) consult the various internet sites of the universities, while those who have the opportunity prefer to go in person to the university registry office or take part in the special open days (54%). A large percentage ask for information from acquaintances and friends who already attend certain courses (49%), while 37% prefer to listen to the advice and experience of parents and relatives.
* conducted with the WOA (Web Opinion Analysis) methodology on about 2,500 school leavers through online monitoring on the main social networks, forums and communities dedicated to understanding their state of mind and preferences related to post-school life.
di Salvatore Galeone
Source: Adobe Stock