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Career paths Banking down, fashion up, say business students

The glamour of the fashion industry is seducing Swiss business students

(Keystone/Ennio Leanza)

A career in common consumer goods has more appeal than one in banking, according to a survey of Swiss business students. Meanwhile, the fashion, accessories and luxury goods sector is growing in popularity.

Released on Tuesday by business advisory firm Deloitte, the report called “Talent in Banking 2014”external link surveyed about 700,000 business students worldwide, including 4,424 in Switzerland.

“Over one-third of students do not think banks are particularly innovative or dynamic, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that banks have lost ground compared to the FMCG [fast-moving consumer goods] and fashion sectors,” said Sarah Kane, a partner at Deloitte in Switzerland, in a media release – FCMG referring to items such as soft drinks and toiletries.

Researchers concluded that banking had slipped in popularity after asking Swiss business students to name their five “ideal” employers. Google topped the list, followed by Nestlé, UBS and Credit Suisse and Swatch.

In 2012, careers in banking and FMCG were about equally desirable. Since then, both – but especially banking – have declined in popularity. In the meantime, fashion and luxury goods – apparently on trend – are increasingly on the radar of Swiss business students. Tourism is also attracting more young talent.

According to the report, “banks will need to overhaul their brand amongst graduates”, due to some would-be bankers holding a negative view of the industry.

“On a global scale, nearly three-quarters (74%) do not associate banks with providing flexible working, while over half think banks do not offer secure employment or a friendly place to work.”

In terms of career goals, the Swiss “banking-inclined” students cited work-life balance as a top priority, followed by leadership goals and the need for a “competitive or intellectual” challenge.

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