British Army work ‘wish list’ study shows skill development and pride are top

The key consideration for nearly two thirds (63%) of UK graduates climbing onto the career ladder is to secure a role that offers opportunities to develop skills and knowledge, according to research by the British Army.

The work ‘wish list’ also comprises earning a good salary (61%), but graduates are wanting to work somewhere that gives them the ability to do something they’re proud of (48%) and enables them to make a difference to other people’s lives (32%).

While the majority (71%) of the UK’s graduate workforce feel mentally challenged by their current role, two fifths (42%) want more progression and development opportunities and a third (33%) crave more opportunities to learn key skills. In fact, less than half (47%) believe their role lives up to their expectations.

The survey supports the British Army’s latest ‘With Heart With Mind’ recruitment campaign, becoming an Army Officer is a highly-skilled career that offers world-class leadership training, challenges, and the opportunity to do something that makes a difference.

General Paul Nanson, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst: “Graduates who choose to train as British Army Officers receive world-class opportunities for skills development from the moment they join the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The officer training programme contributes to an accredited Master’s level pathway and individuals are nurtured and encouraged to develop themselves by internationally recognised academics, as well as some of the most respected soldiers in the British Army.

“Our support network is second to none, with training delivered progressively, building on the natural talent every individual brings to us. This support and continuous development will last throughout your career; and can even start while you are at university, with generous bursaries for exceptional talent. British Army Officers are given real opportunities to make a positive difference to the world on a daily basis, whether they serve for a full career or just a few years. That meaningful purpose is something we know today’s new generation of leaders is looking for.”

In addition to greater development opportunities and pride in their role, graduate employees also crave more opportunities to exercise to be fitter and healthier (32%). Currently only 13% of graduates feel their organisation takes an active interest in their health and fitness.

Olympic gold medallist, Major Heather Stanning, lends her support to this year’s With Heart With Mind Officer Recruitment campaign and said: “I’ve always had an interest in the Army, it’s something that started at a young age when I gained an Army Scholarship at school. At university I discovered my passion for rowing, but like most students I reached the point where I needed to decide on a career path to pursue. The Army still captured my interest due to their support for taking part in sports, and the chance to try out adventure training such as parachute jumps and deep-sea diving. I’d encourage students to take a look at what the Army has to offer when it comes to weighing up career options.”

CASE STUDY: Captain Chloe Booty

Training Officer in 101 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)
When asked for her thoughts about Army Officer jobs, Chloe said: “The Army has limitless opportunities for people who want to develop personally and professionally. There’s such a broad range of careers available from HR to medicine, accounting, engineering, communications, IT or teaching.
“The Army invests in you as a person and provides you with the necessary training and qualifications to set you up in your career and prepare you for the future. I’ve gained further academic qualifications since becoming an Army Officer and in the future can become a Chartered Engineer.
“I’ve really enjoyed travelling the world with the Army for adventure training and putting learned skills into practice. In fact, I’ve visited more than 19 different countries in the space of four years, including visiting Peru, Thailand, Jordan and Canada.
“Your colleagues become your best mates in the Army, and together you will achieve things you truly never thought were possible. No two people or two days are ever the same, and you always finish the week feeling like you have achieved something or made somebody’s life a little better. I’m proud to be a British Army Officer as I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world.”

The Army will today begin a unique tour of the UK’s universities, starting at the University of Edinburgh. This will provide students with the opportunity to find out more about Army careers, put their leadership skills to the test in a challenging planning exercise or even try out a parachute jump through virtual reality headsets.

By improving awareness and understanding of what the Army does, the ‘With Heart. With Mind’ campaign shows that there is more to the British Army than combat roles. Graduates who are serious about shaping their future and realising their potential can find out more information about the role of an Army Officer by searching ‘Army Officer Jobs’, visit