Thoughts of Australia university graduates

At the beginning of July Graduate Careers Australia released a series of reports on what university graduates are thinking and how these thoughts match those of employers. The survey had 32,000 responses over a 9 week period in mid 2007.

The highlights of the report are available in the press release however I have reproduced some of the findings below.

Firstly graduates want what all generations have wanted “good training and development and interesting, challenging work”, also students are presenting to employers very well and indicate that they plan to remain in their ‘ideal’ job. However the question of if their graduate job was their ‘ideal’ job was not clearly answered, and I suspect not. Over 75% want a job the gives the work life balance over with a higher salary. A third of graduates said they would remain in their ‘ideal’ job for 5 or more years, while over 50% of employers felt graduates would leave within the first 3 years.

However there are also some differences in perception between the graduates and employers:-

  • ‘Opportunities for advancement’ was ranked first by employers, but fifth by students;
  • job security was ranked important by over 80 per cent of students, relative to just over 20 per cent of employers;
  • ‘Making a contribution to society’ was important to over 80 per cent of students compared with just under 50 per cent of employers believing this was important;
  • students were more willing to work additional unpaid hours to progress their careers than employers believed they would be;
  • company-paid training and development was clearly the most attractive non-cash benefit to students, followed by additional leave and performance-related bonuses

There are some other very interesting results in the survey. For example Generation Y was lower than both Generation X and Baby Boomers when is came to “Working for an ethically responsible, or
environmentally sound company”. Further employer and graduate expectations around benefits were slightly different. While both agreed that training and development was important, graduates rated superannuation as important, whereas employers felt this was the least attractive benefit they could offer. The least attractive non-cash benefit a mobile phone, and the least expected benefit was a car allowance.

The mobile phone item is interesting as the Microsoft sponsored survey I refered to last week had 48% of students wanting company paid for mobile or smart phones.

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