Bridging the Gap
Graduates who take gap years earn higher starting salaries when they begin their careers, a study revealed yesterday.
Researchers found the confidence and independence gained from working or holidaying abroad enables them to command salaries of around #1,000-a-year more than those who choose not to go away.
The study also found gap year graduates are more likely to find happiness in their careers, having had time to plan their future fully and properly.
It also emerged three quarters of employers are more likely to employ people who have experienced different countries and cultures.
The statistics emerged from a study of 3,000 people by Gapforce, one of the UK’s leading gap year companies.
Founder Marcus Watts said: ”Many people benefit from taking a gap year to travel the world.
”With a structured programme which may incorporate training, working or volunteering overseas, travellers are able to gain valuable experience which will help in later life.
”It helps young people mature which means they return to university more focussed towards study.
”The type of opportunities open to young people in their years out is amazing and they are able to realise so many lifelong dreams.
”Overseas travel provides young people with a real sense of fulfilment and inspires so many to go on and achieve their career goals.”
The study also revealed the average employee who graduated from university in the past 10 years earns #25,132 a year.
But those who travelled overseas before starting their degree can expect to start on a basic salary of #26,300 – well over #1,000 more.
It also emerged 80 per cent of people who took gap years now ‘thoroughly enjoy’ their chosen career compared to 33 per cent of those who didn’t get the chance to travel.
And further stats showed 67 per cent of people said they would be more likely to employ someone who had taken a gap year as opposed to someone who hadn’t.
The study also looked into attitudes towards gap years among those who have taken them and those who haven’t.
A quarter of those surveyed said they thought a university would be more likely to select a student who had taken a gap year during the application process.
And a staggering 87 per cent of people who took gap years believe they have done better than friends who failed to go travelling.
It also emerged a third of young people surveyed believe they were not emotionally ready to start university when they left college or sixth form.
Marcus Watts added: ”These findings show how you can advance your career by taking some time out and travelling. With a structured itinerary, you can really bolster your CV.
”Employers value someone who can speak languages or has worked overseas before. Voluntary work looks great on a CV too.
”In the UK you start full-time education at the age of four and many don’t leave until they are an adult at 18.
”Therefore visiting other countries and experiencing different cultures during your gap year can reshape your whole outlook on life.”
Incredibly, the research also found two thirds of travellers said the things they learnt on a gap year were more valuable to them than the knowledge they gained at university.