Accenture Strategy recently completed a study of college students graduating in 2016 and found a number of interesting trends in recent graduate’s expectations of their first jobs. Perhaps most notable among them is that the majority of graduates prioritized meaningful work, ongoing learning opportunities, and a fun workplace culture over salary when evaluating what’s important in a job. This represents a dramatic shift in priorities from just a few years ago.
These sentiments are reflected in changing attitudes toward the companies graduates want to work for as well, with only 1 in 7 desiring a job at a large company. These changes in graduates’ priorities provide a glimpse into what employers will need to offer in the workplace of the future. Employers like Accenture are evolving to offer the personalized “internal gig” experience and customized career paths that graduates are looking for.
“Graduates are hungry for a culture with opportunities for rapid advancement and the ability to actually love the work that they do,” said Katherine LaVelle, managing director, Accenture Strategy. “This means employers will need to provide an employee experience that offers the flexibility to participate in project-based work, allowing for on-the-job learning and the opportunity to work across different roles with a small-team feel.”