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  • Job Security Tops Students’ Wish List

    August 14, 2018 | By NACE Staff

    Student Attitudes
    Young professionals at work.

    TAGS: student attitudes, surveys, spotlight

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Want to become an employer of choice among college students? Start by offering them job security and the opportunity to develop job-specific skills, which were the most important job attributes to college students earning bachelor’s degrees, according to results of NACE’s 2018 Student Survey Report.

    Nearly 83 percent of students rating the importance of job attributes indicated job security (82.9 percent) was the most important job attribute, followed closely by the opportunity to develop job-specific skills (82.5 percent). (See Figure 1.)

    Also of high importance to these students are the opportunity to develop applied skills (79.7 percent), friendly co-workers (78.8 percent), and good insurance/benefits (76.5 percent).

    The job attributes considered the least important by all bachelor’s students were a well-recognized name/brand, location close to home, a casual atmosphere, and a high starting salary (42.2 to 51.2 percent).

    Across bachelor’s academic levels, the majority of job attributes are identical to the overall, although seniors rated the opportunity to develop job-specific skills slightly more important than job security.

    Data collection for the 2018 Student Survey Report took place from February 14, 2018, to April 30, 2018. This report differs than previous years because it delves into the comparisons across bachelor’s levels individually and collectively to compare students’ views, rather than only focusing on seniors. Through NACE’s college members, this survey collected viable data from 27,277 college students across all degree and year levels. The focus of this report is the 22,109 bachelor’s degree students from the 2017-18 academic school year (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018). The 2018 Student Survey Report will be released this fall.

    Figure 1: Percent of students who rated job attributes “very” to “extremely” important, by bachelor’s degree level

    Overall Freshmen Sophomore Junior Senior
    Job security 82.9% 81.4% 83.5% 82.9% 83.2%
    Opportunity to develop job-specific skills 82.5% 79.5% 82.2% 82.5% 83.8%
    Opportunity to develop applied skills 79.7% 76.7% 78.7% 80.0% 81.1%
    Friendly co-workers 78.8% 75.1% 77.8% 79.3% 80.5%
    Good insurance/benefits package 76.5% 74.9% 76.5% 76.8% 77.0%
    Ability to improve community/country/world 72.4% 71.4% 72.0% 73.4% 72.4%
    Clearly defined assignments 71.6% 69.9% 71.9% 72.0% 71.9%
    Recognition for good performance 71.1% 67.0% 71.1% 71.8% 72.4%
    Embraces diversity 70.4% 68.0% 70.2% 70.0% 71.7%
    Clear agenda/corporate social responsibility 67.2% 64.9% 67.2% 68.1% 67.5%
    Located in diverse and tolerant community 62.4% 61.6% 61.5% 62.2% 63.3%
    Opportunity for self-expression and creativity 62.1% 61.4% 62.0% 62.2% 62.4%
    Creates sustainable products and/or has sustainable operations 57.1% 58.0% 58.1% 57.3% 56.0%
    Opportunity for rapid advancement 56.7% 56.7% 55.9% 58.0% 56.2%
    Innovative approach to work featuring latest technology 52.7% 52.0% 53.1% 53.0% 52.7%
    High starting salary 51.2% 51.8% 52.2% 49.7% 51.6%
    Casual atmosphere 50.7% 50.6% 49.4% 49.3% 52.3%
    Located close to home 44.0% 42.8% 42.4% 43.0% 46.0%
    Well-recognized name/brand/image 42.2% 40.3% 43.0% 42.8% 42.2%
    Source: 2018 Student Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers