• Student Survey: The Employer and Job Preferences of Graduating Seniors

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    October 16, 2013

    What are the most important employer and job factors to members of the Class of 2013? The opportunity for personal growth is clearly the most important consideration to them when evaluating a specific job, according to results of NACE's Class of 2013 Student Survey.

    Ninety-three percent of Class of 2013 bachelor's degree seniors who responded to the survey said the opportunity for personal growth was "very important" or "extremely important." (See Figure 1.) Other employer and job considerations this year's class views as very or extremely important include friendly co-workers (86.1 percent), job security (84 percent), and a good benefits package (77.2 percent).

    The Class of 2013 had many of the same preferences that were at the top for bachelor's degree seniors from the Class of 2012. And like last year's class, this year's group moved the importance of opportunities to rapidly advance with their first employer well down their list of preferences (just 55.1 percent from the Class of 2013 said it is "very important" or "extremely important" to them).

    Additionally, whereas prior classes tended to rate a high starting salary as relatively important, only 46.5 percent from the Class of 2013 said it is "very important" or "extremely important."

    Figure 1: The Employer/Job Preferences of Graduating Seniors Active in the Labor Market


    Not At All Important
    % of
    Responses
    Not Very Important
    % of
    Responses
    Somewhat Important
    % of
    Responses
    Very
    Important
    % of
    Responses
    Extremely Important
    % of
    Responses

    Opportunity for personal growth

    .4%

    .7%

    6.0%

    30.9%

    62.1%

    Friendly co-workers

    .5%

    1.2%

    12.2%

    41.8%

    44.3%

    Job security

    .6%

    1.7%

    13.7%

    39.4%

    44.6%

    Good benefits package

    .6%

    2.6%

    19.6%

    41.4%

    35.8%

    Recognition for good performance

    .8%

    2.9%

    21.9%

    43.1%

    31.3%

    Clearly defined assignments

    1.0%

    4.1%

    24.1%

    43.2%

    27.6%

    Improve the community

    1.6%

    5.2%

    25.2%

    34.6%

    33.3%

    Opportunity for creativity

    1.6%

    7.8%

    27.0%

    36.3%

    27.2%

    Diverse work force

    5.0%

    10.4%

    25.5%

    33.4%

    25.8%

    Opportunity for rapid advancement

    1.5%

    9.7%

    33.7%

    36.0%

    19.1%

    Located in a diverse/tolerant community

    5.2%

    15.0%

    32.6%

    29.5%

    17.6%

    High starting salary

    2.1%

    12.2%

    39.2%

    29.2%

    17.3%

    Well-recognized company

    5.7%

    15.9%

    33.1%

    27.6%

    17.7%

    Casual atmosphere

    4.6%

    14.4%

    39.2%

    28.4%

    13.5%

    Located close to home

    11.5%

    18.1%

    30.1%

    24.9%

    15.4%

    "Green" company

    9.5%

    23.3%

    37.2%

    20.7%

    9.4%

    Source: Class of 2013 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    NACE collected data for the Class of 2013 Student Survey from February 15 to April 30, 2013. A total of 37,874 students responded from 646 NACE member institutions throughout the United States. Of these responses, 9,715 came from bachelor's degree seniors who indicated that they would be getting their degrees by August 2013. This story is based on the responses from this group of seniors. NACE will release the Class of 2013 Student Survey report in the fall.


Student Survey: The Employer and Job Preferences of Graduating Seniors