Hybrid Work Modality for Entry-Level Hires Matches Student Desires

February 9, 2024 | By Kevin Gray

Trends & Predictions
Young professionals in the office attend a virtual meeting with coworkers who are working remotely.

TAGS: nace insights, operations, student attitudes, surveys, technology, trends and predictions,

Despite calls to “return to the office” from employers and the prevailing media narrative, the hybrid work modality appears here to stay, according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2024 report.

NACE Dashboard: Take a Deep Dive Into NACE Survey Data
In addition to having access to survey reports, NACE members also receive access to and can analyze the full set of data from the Job Outlook 2024 survey through the report’s dashboard in MyNACE and from the 2023 Student Survey through the report’s dashboard in MyNACE (free for survey participants).

Hybrid is the work modality for 48% of new entry-level hires—and 45% of all new hires overall. (See Figure 1.) In addition, 43% of entry-level hires will work fully in person, meaning just 9% will be fully remote.

These findings align with the desires of college students: 42% of students in NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report indicated that they prefer hybrid working conditions as opposed to working fully in person or fully virtual. In addition, the highest percentage of student respondents (51.3%) would like to work fully in person and just 6.6% would like to work fully virtual.

These most recent data reflect a significant shift in preferences since 2021, when just 22.2% of students preferred a hybrid modality and 26.3% indicated they would like to work in a fully virtual arrangement. (Seer Figure 2.)

Data for the Job Outlook 2024 survey were collected from August 2, 2023, through September 18, 2023. Of the 255 total respondents, 180 were NACE employer members, representing 20.3% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2024 survey was also distributed to nonmember companies, from which an additional 75 responses were received. NACE members can access the Job Outlook 2024 report in MyNACE. 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. NACE’s 2023 Student Survey Report is available to members through MyNACE.

Figure 1: Modality of work, overall and entry-level positions

Modality of Job Positions (Job Outlook 2024)OverallEntry Level
Average % Fully Remote14%9%
Average % Fully Hybrid45%48%
Average % Fully In Person41%43%
Modality of Job Positions (Job Outlook 2023)Overall Entry Level
Average % Fully Remote15%12%
Average % Fully Hybrid49%50%
Average % Fully In Person36%38%
Source: Job Outlook 2024, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Students’ preferred work modality

In person51.3%42.6%51.6%
Source: 2023 Student Survey Report, 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 kgray@naceweb.org.