Universum Global

As world-renowned experts in employer branding, Universum Global is present in more than fifty markets globally where it conducts extensive research amongst students and young professionals.

Universum GlobalIn 2015 Universum expanded this research into five African markets; Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. The recently released 2016 results for these regions highlights fascinating insights into the minds of young Africans.

The research was conducted between November 2015 and June 2016 across the Business, Engineering/ IT, Natural Sciences, Health Medicine, Humanities, and Law sectors. In Nigeria the research included 6,124 respondents at 27 universities, in Ghana 2,162 respondents at 20 universities and in Kenya 5,062 respondents at 24 universities.

Ghanaian students are very clear in their future goals across all industries with leadership opportunities topping the list for both the Business and Engineering sectors. Similarly, across sectors students in Ghana, like their Nigerian counterparts, are looking for the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and creative in the workplace.

In this regard, the research in Ghana highlights a number of similarities with the trends in Nigeria and Kenya that also highlight training and development within creative and entrepreneurial workspaces. This sub-Saharan trend contrasts with trends in Morocco that show more of an emphasis on work-life balance and opportunities for travel. Ghanaian students, like their Nigerian neighbors are looking for money, innovation and prestige in their future career goals.

Within the research there were also some marked changes from trends in 2015 with students in the Business sector moving their priorities from job security that fell from 2nd to 6th position to priorities such as serving the greater good that moved from 6th to 4th position. Similarly, in the Engineering and Technology sector, students also seem to be focused less on job security (3rd – 7th place) and being intellectually challenged (6th – 8th place.) Instead they are looking for leadership opportunities (from 8th – 6th place) and functional expertise (5th – 3rd place).

The research in Africa also reveals distinctive trends compared to Universum’s research in Europe and the USA, “Young talent in Sub-Saharan Africa have very different priorities compared to young talent in for example Europe and the USA. They are less focused on achieving work life balance and more interested in starting their own business and being the drivers of the own success. The implications of this for businesses are massive and those that manage to foster a sense of entrepreneurship and provide dynamic and innovative opportunities for young people are sure to be the winners in the war for talent” says country manager for Universum South Africa, Jenali Skuse.

Universum’s research across Africa is highlighting a number of insights that employers looking to do business across the continent need to take into account when reaching out to talent. It is clear that although there may be similarities across regions, every country has its own unique characteristics that need to be understood.

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