This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

April 14, 2010

Students Worldwide Looking for Job Security

A recent study reveals that three-quarters of university students value job security to be more important than pay and benefits, when choosing an employer. Conducted by KPMG, the global network of professional services firms, the survey polled university students at a Berlin meeting of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a global non-profit group active on college campuses.

Given the current economic environment, this shift away from career thinking is not surprising. In addition, over 50 percent of respondents would be interested in working internationally immediately after graduation; they obviously recognize that overseas opportunities are valuable for success in today's global marketplace.

Another effect of the global slowdown is their consideration of post graduate education immediately after graduation. Sixty-nine percent indicated they are now "more likely to study for a post-graduate degree than look to get a job". Moreover, the KPMG survey revealed that due to the downturn most (67 percent) said, they were more likely to work for a public or non-profit organization than a corporate business,

According to this survey, other factors important to students when choosing future employers included "real opportunities to learn new skills and develop themselves personally and professionally", "challenging and exciting work", and "opportunities to work with and learn from talented colleagues".

Students still believe "personal development and enrichment" are top priorities when selecting an employer. They also want to use their business skills to help their communities. Organizations like SIFE develop students' drive for community involvement, leadership, and career initiatives.

The majority of the respondents (55 percent) said they "might stay" with their first employer for two-to-four years---probably another example of the effects of economic concerns. Furthermore, the social media platform Facebook as the one they use most regularly and most often tap when researching information about a future employer.

The eclipsing of training and development by job security is temporary to the economic downturn. When the economies of the world recover---as many are starting to do already---we expect a return to career pathing and training being of primary importance---results found in our research for the book "How to Become an Employer of Choice".


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