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Universum Survey of New Graduate Preferences

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There’s a lot more to the Universum survey that I have time to go into or interpret including top employer brands cut into multiple categories and such.  What I found most interesting was their cut on the new graduate goals for work.

Easily, the highest ranking career goal was the desire for balance between personal life and career, reflected by about 60% of the survey respondents.  Basically tied at 2nd and 3rd was the desire for further education and to build a sound financial base at around 30% of respondents.  Notable is that pursuing further education edged out building a financial base.  While I could make the argument that these new graduates are looking for learning opportunities, I think it’s more probable that 30 to 40% of these respondents are looking to go back to grad school.  Coming in at 4th with about 25% of respondents was a surprising “contribute to society.”   ((Universum Communications. 2006.  “The Universum Survey, American Undergraduate Edition.”  Retrieved from on November 13, 2006.))

This really underscored the changed in the workforce generations we’ve been talking about on systematicHR.  The industrialized world has created enough wealth that those in at least the middle class don’t need to be concerned with their compensation levels and can pursue other interests.  Our parents would never have imagined seeking work life balance as a higher preference to compensation.

Also of interest is the desire to contribute to society.  The world is smaller and we seem to have both a better sense of space and accountability both due to the ability to travel as well as the internet.  People are more tied together and aware than ever before.  This growing trend that the society and environment are proportionately gaining in importance compared to the self.  Perhaps like the sentiment of the 60’s it won’t last, but there’s more economic means to support the trend now.

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2 responses to “Universum Survey of New Graduate Preferences”

  1. […] In a new survey of undergraduates, the highest ranking career goal was the desire for balance between personal life and career. [via] […]

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