October 18, 2019 | By NACE Staff
TAGS: student attitudes, surveys, spotlight, students
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Graduating seniors view opportunities to develop their skills—both specific to the job and applied—as the top attributes of their future job, according to NACE’s 2019 Student Survey Report.
This year’s survey report includes in-depth analysis of the impact of students’ internships on these aspects of their transition from college to work. For the most part, students’ internship experience—whether having paid or unpaid internships, or no internship experience at all—had little impact on their perception of the importance of aspects of their work environment.
For example, nearly all groups of students cited the opportunity to develop both skills that are applied and specific to the job as the most important attributes of a hypothetical position. Friendly co-workers and job security were also highly important. Meanwhile, they ranked the attributes related directly to their compensation—good insurance/benefits and high starting salary—fifth and 16th, respectively, in terms of importance. (See Figure 1.)
Only a few differences emerged. For example, unpaid interns felt it was more important that their organizations embrace diversity and enable them to improve their community, country, and/or world. Paid interns, on the other hand, felt it was more important that there was recognition for good performance, opportunity for rapid advancement, and a high starting salary.
Data from the 2019 Student Survey Report were collected from February 13, 2019, through May 1, 2019. A total of 22,371 students responded from 470 NACE-member colleges and universities. By class, 4,118 freshmen; 3,642 sophomores; 5,049 juniors; 6,475 seniors; 2,384 master’s students; and 516 doctoral students responded to the survey. The focus of the report, however, is on the experiences of the 3,952 graduating seniors who participated. In addition, this report includes in-depth analysis of the impact of students’ internships on these aspects of their transition from college to work. The 2019 Student Survey Report is available free to members through MyNACE. An executive summary of the report is available through the NACE Store.
Figure 1: Percent of respondents indicating job attribute as either very or extremely important
Overall unemployment rate
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Unemployment rate, bachelor’s degree grads age 20 – 24
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Average starting salary, Class of 2020 bachelor’s degree graduate
Summer 2021 Salary Survey
Increase in projected hiring, Class of 2021 versus Class of 2020
Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update