• Student Survey: The Job/Employer Preferences of the Class of 2014

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
    July 23, 2014

    When evaluating a specific job, students from the Class of 2014 clearly view the opportunity for personal growth as the most important consideration, according to NACE’s 2014 Student Survey.

    Ninety-two percent of graduating seniors from the Class of 2014 who are entering the work force rated this attribute as very or extremely important. (See Figure 1.) While personal development is clearly uppermost in the minds of new graduates when looking for their preferred job out of college, several other items are rising in importance. Graduates from the past several classes have become increasingly concerned with the diversity of an employer’s work force and having a job in which they can directly improve the community.

    Just as with the preceding class, the importance of opportunities to rapidly advance with their first employer fell well down on the list of preferences that they used to evaluate a job offer. Additionally, graduates tend no longer to view strong prospects for compensation. Whereas prior classes tended to rate a high starting salary as relatively important, the Class of 2014 rates a high starting salary as relatively unimportant in finding their preferred job or employer.

    NACE collected data for the 2014 Student Survey from February 15 to April 30, 2014. A total of 43,864 students responded from 696 NACE member institutions throughout the United States. Of these responses, 10,210 came from bachelor's degree seniors who indicated that they would be getting their degrees by August 2014. This story is based on the responses from this group of seniors. NACE will release the 2014 Student Survey report in the fall.

    Figure 1: Job/Employer Preferences of Graduating Seniors Entering the Work Force

    Employer/Job Attribute Not At All Important Not Very Important Somewhat Important Very Important Extremely Important
    Opportunity for personal growth .3% .8% 6.9% 31.3% 60.7%
    Job security .6% 1.8% 13.2% 38.5% 46.0%
    Friendly co-workers .6% 1.6% 13.4% 40.6% 43.7%
    Good benefits package .6% 2.7% 17.5% 40.1% 39.2%
    Ability to improve community 1.6% 5.2% 22.2% 36.3% 34.7%
    Recognition for good performance .7% 3.9% 20.0% 43.0% 32.5%
    Clearly defined assignments .8% 3.9% 21.6% 43.4% 30.3%
    Diversity 4.1% 8.3% 23.6% 34.5% 29.6%
    Opportunity for creativity 1.8% 7.5% 26.3% 36.1% 28.3%
    High starting salary 1.4% 9.9% 36.8% 32.3% 19.7%
    Opportunity for rapid advancement 1.3% 9.1% 33.6% 36.6% 19.4%
    Located in a diverse and tolerant community 4.7% 14.3% 31.9% 30.4% 18.7%
    Well-recognized name 6.0% 18.3% 30.5% 27.7% 17.4%
    Located close to home 8.6% 15.8% 30.2% 28.1% 17.2%
    Casual atmosphere 3.4% 13.5% 36.5% 29.7% 16.9%
    "Green" company 8.6% 21.9% 38.0% 21.8% 9.8%

    Source:2014 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers


Student Survey: The Job/Employer Preferences of the Class of 2014