It’s undoubtedly one of the toughest times for students coming out of universities. From student fees, to rising property prices, to a shrinking job market; prospects can seem grim. The old passage from academia to well-paid job at an established organisation is a pretty unlikely one, but the news isn’t all bad for students.
One sector that has remained stable (perhaps even thrived) over the past decade or so is the start-up, particularly web-based, service-oriented companies such as Ticketbis, the platform to buy and sell tickets for various sporting and entertainment events. Spurred on by the steadily increasing demand for online services and a changing marketplace, the growth in this sector is a perfect match for the youthful dynamism that graduates can bring.
Part of the reason for this is the perfect alignment of graduates looking for experience and hands-on knowledge, with the start-up ethos of giving plenty of responsibility and independence. While more established companies rarely afford more than entry-level positions to graduates, filled with dull tasks nobody else wants to do, start-ups often promise the chance for new hires to express themselves and utilise their talents fully.
With the big shift towards internet-based companies, there’s a lot more room for creativity, as well as a deep-seated need for people who understand the online space intimately. Of course, this isn’t limited just to young people, but the generations that grew up on Facebook, iPhones, and Amazon, are much more likely to understand the needs of the modern business, and modern consumers.
It can come as no surprise then that many start-ups boast a lower average age than larger companies and an atmosphere to go with that. Organised activities have become one of the central tenets of the start-up handbook, from go-karting, to language lessons, the benefits of a young team that communicates well isn’t lost on Ander Michelena, CEO of Ticketbis “With an average age of 28 our team is extremely young and it is good that, as a company, we are able to offer activities that align with their interests,” he said. “We used to organise the events ourselves, but now with nearly 250 members of staff we let them decide”
It’s not all pizza-Fridays and colourful offices, however, start-ups often require a lot more of their employees due to their smaller teams. A wider variety of skills and a strong work ethic are necessities, but the appeal of meaningfully contributing to the success of a company balances this out.
While there’s a lot of bad news around for students at the moment, and huge changes in the conventional paths graduates are taking after their studies, it’s always worth remembering that many start-ups offer golden opportunities to work in an environment that is challenging, dynamic, creative, and rewarding.