Preferences for Job/Organization Attributes and Benefits Differ by Race and Gender

February 26, 2024 | By Kevin Gray

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
A diverse group of young professionals.

TAGS: benefits, diversity and inclusion, nace insights, recruiting, student attitudes, surveys, trends and predictions,

When it comes to the attributes of a job and an organization and the benefits the organization offers, there are some differences in student preferences by race and gender, according to NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Dashboard.

NACE Dashboard: Take a Deep Dive Into the NACE 2023 Student Survey Data
NACE members can access and analyze the full set of data from the 2023 Student Survey through the report’s dashboard in MyNACE (free for survey participants). This is an invaluable way for your team to gain insight into trends and issues, and enhance your ability to develop solutions and advocate for and market your department. For directions and tips on how to use a NACE research report dashboard, please see this YouTube video.

While all groups considered cited job security as a top attribute, Black and Hispanic students want their future employer to embrace diversity. (See Figure 1.) Skill development—whether applied/core or job-specific skills—was also of high importance across these groups, and white students and both men and women highly valued having friendly co-workers. 

Black students report that the most important attribute of a potential job is that it offers good benefits; this was the only group to have this among its top three attributes. In particular, these students value a 401k, 100% of their medical insurance paid, and tuition reimbursement the most. (See Figure 2.)

Like Black students, all other groups in this story had a 401k as their top benefit. Insurance was also highly important: fully paid medical insurance to Black students and men; dental insurance to Hispanic and white students and women.

Guaranteed salary increases were among the top benefit for all groups except Black students, who, instead, saw higher value in tuition reimbursement.

Data for NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report were collected from March 15, 2023 to May 19, 2023.

In all, 18,966 bachelor degree students responded from 204 four-year colleges and universities. Of those, 2,307 were Class of 2023 graduating seniors; this article is based on their responses. NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report and the report’s dashboard are available to participating members through MyNACE.

 Figure 1: Top three attributes of the job and organization, by race and gender

Job offers good benefits90%    
Develop applied/core skills89%88% 88% 
Job offers security89%89%88%90%83%
Organization embraces diversity89%90%   
Friendly co-workers  89%88%85%
Develop job-specific skills  88%89%85%
Source: 2023 Student Survey Dashboard, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Top three benefits, by race and gender

100% medical insurance paid83%   69%
Tuition reimbursement81%    
Guaranteed salary increases 78%70%74%71%
Dental insurance 75%72%73% 

Source: 2023 Student Survey Dashboard, National Association of Colleges and Employers


blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at