Students have embraced ChatGPT for both their academic work and the work of finding a job.
We surveyed 647 UK university students in a Cibyl poll in May 2023 to understand the extent to which they are now using ChatGPT for assignments, exams and job applications.
Half of students said they are using ChatGPT in their studies and nearly half expect to use it for applications.
The findings were the basis of a recent ISE webinar ‘ChatGPT and The Impact to Early Careers Recruitment’
Most students have a positive view of AI
The relatively easy access to ChatGPT has radically altered our use and understanding of AI tools. Students appear to be early adopters.
Our findings show only 12% hadn’t heard of ChatGPT. Over half think it’s a positive innovation whilst only 11% don’t. But the majority (53%) do think it should be regulated.
Half of students already use AI for recruitment
ChatGPT first hit the news as students started to complete assignments with the tool. But pretty quickly, we realised how ChatGPT could be used to write CVs, draft application form answers, and even answer psychometric test questions.
As the majority of student recruiters use online tests and video interviews, we asked students how they expect to use ChatGPT in the selection process.
Nearly half (47%) said they would use it for application forms, 39% said yes for online tests, 37% during online interviews and 38% during assessment centres. Less than 10% said they wouldn’t use ChatGPT for their job applications.
Only 16% of students won’t use AI for exams
We found a similar attitude to academic work. Students use ChatGPT most frequently for research (51%), and 47% said they have used AI to complete coursework.
We didn’t ask how, but nearly a third of students even say they have used ChatGPT in exams. Only 7% said they would not use ChatGPT for research.
Students are aware that AI may not always give the right answer, but many commented that the AI responses helped speed up their research and were a good source for discussion points.
“The responses from ChatGPT can be very useful for speeding up the googling process while thinking about methods and points of discussion. It’s very useful for people that already have knowledge in the subject area, who can do further research into the points ChatGPT comes up with and extend them”, said one student.
Generative AI is an opportunity
AI clearly has wide ranging implications in the world of education and the tools employers use to select and develop graduates.
The technology is clearly also changing how we work and employers and educators are starting to positively embrace generative AI, whilst being aware of its many current limitations.
Understanding how students use AI in their job search and through the selection process is an opportunity to understand how to help students make better career choices.
Assessment technologies and providers have always had to stay ahead of Google and other cheating risks and the pace of investment is likely to continue.
Simon Martin, CEO of Group GTI said, “ChatGPT and other AI tools have rapidly become part of a student’s toolkit. People are generally aware of the limitations in terms of accuracy. One student said, ‘ChatGPT sometimes hallucinates, and it is still very confident in itself when it produced garbage’, but people are perhaps less aware of the risk of dangerous bias in any opinions offered. Educators and employers have an opportunity to work with generative AI as it develops.”
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