A majority of college graduates entering the job market this summer want to work in a collaborative rather than a competitive workplace, but care most about compensation when applying for jobs after graduation, according to a report released by student loan marketplace LendEDU.

The report’s findings are based on a series of surveys of between 1,808 and 3,776 college students conducted nationwide from July 8, 2016, to June 5, 2017. When asked what type of company culture they prefer, 62% of the respondents said they would rather work in a collaborative environment, while the remaining 38% said they would prefer to work in a competitive atmosphere. Men were more likely than women to say they prefer a competitive environment: 43% of the male respondents, but just 34% of the female respondents, said they would rather work in a competitive than in a collaborative workplace.

Moreover, when asked whether they would rather work for a company with excellent benefits/perks but less job security, or fewer benefits/perks but more job security, 52% of respondents chose the latter option, while the remaining 48% said they would prefer to be employed at a company with more job security and fewer perks. Broken down by gender, 58% of the male respondents, but only 46% of the female respondents, chose benefits/perks over greater job security.

Students were also asked whether they would rather work for a very small startup or a larger, more established company. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents said they would prefer to work for a larger company than a small startup, with a larger share of the male respondents (35%) than of the female respondents (28%) saying they would rather work for a small startup.

In addition, the college students were asked which aspect of a company they consider most important when deciding where to apply. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of respondents (72%) said whether the employer offers good pay is the most important factor, with much smaller shares saying their main concern is whether the employer has a strong ethical culture (14%) or a good training program (8%).

When asked how much money they expect to make at their first job after college, 36% of respondents said they expect to earn $40k to $60k per year, 26% said they expect to make under $40k annually, 21% said they anticipate earning $60k to $80k per year, while 17% indicated they expect to make over $80k annually.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 60, Issue 6

The information contained in this newsletter is for general use, and while we believe all information to be reliable and accurate, it is important to remember individual situations may be entirely different. The information provided is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. This newsletter is written and published by Liberty Publishing, Inc., Beverly, MA. Copyright © 2017 Liberty Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.