As students head back to school and university, new research has revealed that landing the right job is the most important goal for young people to achieve. The nationwide study commissioned by leading job site found that over a third (35%) of 18-30 year old Brits claim landing the right job is a higher priority than other life goals, such as completing higher education (24%), owning a property (12%), starting a family (10%) and getting married (7%).

Career ambition is at the core of this goal with 43% citing it as the reason they feel like they should have landed the perfect job by a certain age. Young people in Greater London and the South East are the most ambitious in the nation with over half naming ambition above and beyond all other reasons. The research also hints that today’s savvy young people understand that finding the right job can ultimately help them to achieve other life goals that tend to come with a heavier price tag, such as owning a home or completing higher education.

30 = do or die

Demonstrating their ambitious nature, today’s young people also think they should have achieved major life goals by the time they turn 30, with two-thirds thinking they should be married (60%) and have landed their perfect job (69%) by the time they reach the big 30. Not only are they confident they can reach it – 53% think they’ll land the perfect job by their target age – but it seems they are well on their way. A third (31%) of young men have already landed the job they always wanted at 21 years old compared to one in five (20%) women.

Great expectations

Across the UK, the study found two-fifths of young people are hopeful when it comes to their job expectations for the future. Those in Yorkshire are the most hopeful with over half (56%) describing their expectations as such. Young people in Yorkshire are also the most satisfied with their current employment with two-thirds (63%) believing it will put them on the career path they’ve always wanted.

On the contrary, those in the North East and West Midlands are less enthusiastic with a quarter (26%) feeling nervous when it comes to the job market. One in seven (15%) of those in the West Midlands also said ‘scared’ was the best word to describe their job expectations.

Millennials verses parents

Today’s young Britons may have just experienced an almost decade long recession, but today’s research shows that the majority are more positive about their job prospects than their parents. Almost half (48%) of 18-30 year olds in the UK think they have more opportunity for career progression when compared to their parents and over half (53%) are satisfied with their current employment believing it will put them on the career path they’ve always wanted.

“It’s great to see such a positive view of the future amongst today’s young people,” says Mary Ellen Dugan, Vice President Corporate Marketing, Indeed. “Not only are they ambitious but they are also hopeful. Finding the right job not only leads to a happy work life, but it has a rippling effect on the rest of your life so it’s important to find the right fit. The right job can help you on the path to achieve other goals and it’s great to see that today’s youth really understand that.”

About the research:

Indeed commissioned independent research with Redshift Research in August 2014. The results are based on a poll of 1000 18-30 year olds across the UK.