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  • Class of 2016 Grads Seek 401k, Health Insurances

    September 14, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Student Attitudes
    Class of 2016 grads discuss what they're looking for in a benefits package.

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    In terms of the benefits they prefer, Class of 2016 bachelor’s degree graduates took a longer view of the financial aspects of their professional careers than did previous classes, according to results of NACE’s Class of 2016 Student Survey.

    The benefits of most importance to job-seeking students from the Class of 2016 were a company-matched 401(k) retirement program, guaranteed annual salary increases, and two key types of health insurance—dental and medical. (See Figure 1.)

    This represents a pronounced shift from even just last year when Class of 2015 graduates most valued more than two weeks of vacation in the first year of employment and tuition reimbursement for advanced education, which were also the most highly sought benefits among college graduates in the years following the recession.

    NACE’s Class of 2016 Student Survey was conducted February 16 – April 30, 2016; more than 23,000 students at colleges and universities nationwide took part, including 5,600 graduating seniors. The survey report will be available in September.

    Figure 1: Employee benefits preferences

      Extremely
    important
    Very
    important
    Somewhat
    important
    Not very important Not at all important
    % of respondents
    Company-matched 401(k) retirement program 28.0% 34.5% 27.1% 6.5% 3.9%
    Dental insurance 24.8% 34.7% 28.2% 8.7% 3.6%
    100% employer-paid medical insurance 23.7% 29.5% 32.7% 10.1% 3.9%
    Guaranteed annual salary increases 20.8% 30.7% 34.3% 10.7% 3.5%
    Tuition reimbursement for advanced education 24.1% 27.8% 29.7% 12.4% 6.0%
    Life insurance 21.1% 29.0% 30.5% 13.4% 5.9%
    Family-related benefits 21.7% 28.6% 28.2% 12.6% 8.9%
    Bonus/commission plan 13.7% 24.0% 35.6% 18.2% 8.5%
    2+ weeks of vacation in the first year of work 13.7% 21.4% 35.3% 22.1% 7.6%
    Flextime policy 10.3% 23.0% 39.3% 18.2% 9.1%
    Frequent performance reviews 8.5% 22.4% 40.1% 21.1% 7.8%
    Employee assistance (counseling) program 7.8% 14.7% 32.7% 29.4% 15.5%
    Casual dress policy 7.0% 15.2% 32.5% 30.0% 15.3%
    Telecommuting option 6.7% 12.1% 30.4% 28.4% 22.4%
    On-site fitness center 6.5% 11.9% 28.4% 29.8% 23.4%
    On-site day care facilities 4.5% 7.3% 18.5% 26.8% 42.9%
    Source: Class of 2016 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers