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Banking career (a little) less popular 5 years after Lehman

Banking less popular for business students

Business students around the world have lost some love for banking five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but the sector still remains the second most popular career choice, a new study from Deloitte finds.

The popularity of working in banking fell, although the sector remained resilient in the face of the financial crisis.

Bankers have become increasingly unpopular over the last few years. They have been blamed for financial scandals, mis-management and the global crisis, which has contributed to the decline in popularity of banks.

"Banking has had a bit of a reputation bashing," Kevin O'Reilly, a partner at Deloitte told CNBC. "The other way of looking at this is to say that despite a lot of pressure in the financial industry it has held up as one of the careers people want to go in to."

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Auditing and accounting remains at the top of the pile as the most attractive career while engineering and manufacturing lie at the bottom. The computing industry picked up steam over the last year and is now on par with banking in popularity.

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The Deloitte survey asked 108,000 business students globally to rank their top five "ideal" employers and 32,000 of those identified a bank among their list.

While students felt banking offers high future earnings and a good name on the resume, the survey found that the industry is failing in supportive leadership and meritocracy. Professional training and development is the most sought after attribute at work, but it is not strongly associated with banks.

Candidates care most about work-life balance and job security but they do not expect banks to provide it and less than 40 percent felt banks offered an innovative and dynamic working environment.

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"People who are considering a career in banking said innovation is important but they didn't see that in banking. Innovation, dynamism and creativity are attributes associated with industries like computing," Margaret Doyle, head of financial services research told CNBC.

"Banks do need innovation because they need to rethink the business model."

Students see banks as a stepping stone to a future career with over half of those surveyed expecting to move from their first employer within three years, posing a serious challenge to the banking industry.

"People are thinking quite pragmatically of a multi-stage career. Many of them think about changing jobs within three years. Employers have to think about this and how to keep people in the organization," O'Reilly told CNBC.

— CNBC's Arjun Kharpal: Follow him on Twitter @ArjunKharpal

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