Graduates rank training and development over a large salary when selecting a future employer, according to research conducted by Ernst and Young.
An online poll, which registered nearly 600 respondents, showed that 41% of graduates view training and development as the most important consideration when weighing up a potential employer. This compares to 44% when the same survey was last run in 2007.
Salary and benefits remained the second most popular factor, increasing slightly from 18% in 2007 to 21% in 2011.
Stephen Isherwood, head of graduate recruitment at Ernst and Young, said: “The poll raises interesting questions around the expectations of the post-recession class of 2011 versus those of 2007, who were graduating into an uncertain future.
“Despite the burden of university debts, today’s graduates still see their first job as a prime opportunity to gain qualifications and skills which can benefit them long into the future.”
The biggest change in students’ views was around work-life balance, which fell from the third most important factor in 2007 to the fifth in 2011: 16% and 11% respectively.
“Generation Y’s are typically thought to value a healthy work-life balance more than any other generation but, based on the survey results, it’s clear that an increasingly competitive jobs market is tempering their expectations,” said Isherwood.
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