If you’re a college student scoping out the labor market to see what jobs are available, or you’re a recent graduate, your employment prospects are looking good. In 2021, the employment rate was higher for 25- to 34-year-olds who had higher levels of educational attainment, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For example, 86% of those with a bachelor’s or higher degree are in work.
When it comes to the kind of jobs graduates should be looking at, a recent Job Market Outlook for Grads report found that there are a number of fields that are predicted to add tens or hundreds of thousands of new jobs by 2030. These in-growth careers include market research analysts, project management specialists, operations managers, and software developers.
These roles may be in demand, but for those graduates entering the workforce for the first time, or at an early career stage, there are specific things they are looking for. According to a recent report, the class of 2023 is aware of wider economic and market trends.
Graduates are driven by inflation and concerns around layoffs, and 74% of this year’s future grads say they prioritize stability and salary. This outweighs factors like a known employer brand (41%) or a fast-growing field (39%).
Gen Z is the latest generation to enter the world of work, and will make up 27% of the workforce by 2025. Their changing preferences will affect work as we know it now, influencing employers to do things differently to attract and retain them. So, what, apart from salary, is motivating this generation?
1. Flexibility and hybrid work
Recent grads and younger workers want flexibility and are eschewing the traditional office setting. A study from McKinsey found that 87% of employees who were offered remote work took it, and another study discovered that not only does Gen Z want the opportunity to work remotely when it’s given, more than 25% of this cohort actually won’t work without it. Yet another survey identified that 17% of this generation prefers a hybrid model of work.
2. Work-life balance
Fifty percent of Gen Z workers think work-life balance is a must, according to a study from MetLife. Mental health and well-being are priorities, and these workers will aim to look for work environments that support balance. For example, employers which offer employee wellness programs, counseling services, and paid time off to travel and take mental health days.
Additionally, recent graduates are much more likely to want to work for organizations that align with their personal values, and will look to work for companies making a positive impact on the world, or which have good DEI and ESG policies.
3. Learning and development
One of the most valuable benefits younger workers want is the opportunity to engage in further learning in the form of training and development. According to research from Amazon and Workplace Intelligence, 74% of Gen Z and Millennial employees say a lack of career mobility and skills development options will lead them to resign within the coming year.
4. Alternative benefits
As the “perksession” hits home and companies rescind previous enticements such as in-office meals and snacks, younger workers are prioritizing more tangible benefits. Student loan repayment, relaxed dress codes, accommodations for physical, emotional or learning disabilities, pet insurance and social interaction and fun are all ways to appeal to recent grads.
If you are ready to dip your toes into the world of work, then the three jobs below are worth a look––and there are many more to discover on the The Grad Cafe Job Board.
Audit & Assurance – Co-op/Intern 2023-2024, Deloitte, Multiple Locations
If you are a current student looking to pursue either a Co-op term or Internship, as an Audit Staff Accountant, you will work with collaborative teams to audit a wide range of Canadian and international companies across industries; providing assurance to stakeholders which is integral to the proper function of the capital markets. Supported by your team, you will learn Deloitte’ audit methodology and innovations, use data analytics to derive insights for your clients and develop as a professional in a culture that fosters learning and growth. Get full information here.
Administrative Assistant, Electronic Arts, Orlando
This early career opportunity to work as an Administrative Assistant at Electronic Arts will see the successful candidate act as a partner to a trio of senior leaders: a technical leader, a development leader, and a production leader. You will provide high-quality support that anticipates the needs of the leadership team you support, assume full ownership and maintenance of the leadership team’s shared window calendar, and coordinate domestic and international travel. See all the responsibilities here.
Cellular Protocol Development Engineer, Apple, San Diego
Two years’ experience in embedded/telecom/wireless areas and strong software engineering skills including design, programming (C, C++, script), and debugging are required for this early career role as a Cellular Protocol Development Engineer. You will work across layers on groundbreaking cellular technologies, identifying and/or developing core cellular technologies that solve everyday problems for Apple customers using iPhone, iPad, Watch, and other wireless product lines. Get the full job description here.