Graduates want meaningful work and a fully digitised workplace

Millennials prefer digitised workplaceMillennials entering the workforce want employment that offers meaningful work, ongoing learning opportunities and a fun workplace culture. This is according to a new study by Accenture on the workforce of the future which reveals that new graduates are increasingly digital, embracing new technologies, both to find work and on the job. The fourth annual Accenture Strategy 2016 U.S. College Graduate Employment Study found that the majority (70 percent) would rather work at a company that provides an employee experience built on a positive social atmosphere and receive a lower salary – up 10 percent on last year’s graduating class. Almost all (92 percent) of 2016 graduates said it is important to be employed at a company that demonstrates social responsibility. They are also three times as likely to prefer to work for a small or medium-sized company (44 percent), versus a large company (14 percent), indicating their preference for a smaller team environment.

“The class of 2016 is especially passionate and seeking a fulfilling employee experience in their first job,” said David Smith, senior managing director, Accenture Strategy. “They are increasingly looking at workplace culture, and benefits other than salary, as important factors when making career decisions. This means employers will need to focus on the employee experience they deliver as a differentiator to attract today’s millennials.”

These graduates are passionate – 69 percent chose their area of study because they were passionate about it – and want to work for companies that do good and 30 percent of 2016 graduates said they believe opportunities to make a difference or meaningful work are important for an employer to offer.

“Graduates are hungry for a culture with opportunities for rapid advancement and the ability to actually love the work that they do,” said Katherine LaVelle, managing director, Accenture Strategy.

“This means employers will need to provide an employee experience that offers the flexibility to participate in project-based work, allowing for on-the-job learning and the opportunity to work across different roles with a small-team feel.”

Continuous learning opportunities are also of utmost importance to new graduates. The majority (80 percent) of the class of 2016 expect their first employer to provide formal training, in contrast to only 54 percent of 2014/2015 graduates who say they actually received formal training. Soon-to-be 2016 graduates also expect on-the-job experience to further their career (68 percent) and 77 percent expect to get this experience in their first job.

Graduates are also increasingly indicating they will require continued education in the form of graduate degrees to further their career – 37 percent of 2016 graduates compared to 27 percent of 2015 graduates.

This year’s graduates understand and utilize digital technologies both to find a job and in the workplace. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of this year’s graduating class used a mobile app to search for or apply for jobs, compared to 39 percent of 2014/2015 graduates.

After they’ve landed the job, 61 percent of 2016 graduates think advancements in digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) will positively impact their work. Forty-one percent of this year’s graduates also believe that in the next five years, AI and other advanced technologies will enhance their work experience, and 39 percent believe they will be a welcome addition.

To download the full report click here.

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