2015 Grads Seeking Personal Growth Opportunities, Job Security

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)BETHLEHEM, PA—As has been the case in recent years, graduating students in the post-recession period see limited employment prospects and are consequently more focused on the experiential component of the job and the security that the job offers, according to a recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

NACE’s Class of 2015 Student Survey found that this outlook is evidenced by a near-universal preference for personal growth opportunities (93.2 percent), strong preferences for job security (86.2 percent), and a good benefits package (79.9 percent), and a diminished preference for rapid advancement (57.5 percent) and a high starting salary (52.4 percent). (See Figure 1)

In addition, despite being only moderately ranked, two socially conscious preferences—the ability to improve one’s community (67.9 percent) and an employer that embraces diversity (61.8 percent)—have been emerging as increasingly important to students in the past few years.

Figure 1: Employer/Job preferences of students entering the work force



% of respondents rating “important”

Opportunity for personal growth 93.2%
Job security 86.2%
Friendly co-workers 85.1%
Good benefits package 79.9%
Recognition for good performance 74.4%
Clearly defined assignments 72.7%
Ability to improve community 67.9%
Opportunity for creativity 65.0%
Diversity 61.8%
Opportunity for rapid advancement 57.5%
High starting salary 52.4%
Located in a diverse and tolerant community 48.3%
Located close to home 46.8%
Well-recognized name 46.2%
Casual atmosphere 43.4%
“Green” company 30.5%

Source: Class of 2015 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

About the Class of 2015 Student Survey

The Class of 2015 Student Survey was administered to 39,950 students at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree levels through NACE’s college members from February 11, 2015, to April 30, 2015. The focus of the survey report is the 9,184 bachelor’s degree students who indicated that they would be graduating—or already had graduated—during the 2014-2015 academic school year (July 1 to June 30), and were thus members of the Class of 2015. The Class of 2015 Student Survey was sponsored by Enterprise. Highlights from the Class of 2015 Student Survey are available at http://www.naceweb.org/surveys/student.aspx

About NACE

Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit http://www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at http://www.naceweb.org/press-releases.aspx