With the country still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a tough time for college graduates in 2020. The unemployment rate was 11.1% in June, and with businesses attempting to cut costs, starting salaries aren’t what they used to be. Nevertheless, as a new study reveals, students still have their eyes on the prize.
Universum has released its latest student survey, “United States’ Most Attractive Employers 2020,” which looks at the most attractive employers for students just starting in their careers. This year’s study surveyed 52,738 students from 323 universities between October 2019 and April 2020. Universum also tracked what students were looking for in their ideal jobs.
According to the study, students overall are looking for employers who allow them to have the possibility of high future earnings and can offer a secure position. They also want to have work that affords them an “inspiring purpose.” Insurance is a field that offers those benefits and more; however, no insurance companies were named in this year’s study.
Universum also analyzed responses specifically from March 16th on to determine if there were any changes in student priorities in light of the national shutdowns due to the pandemic. Those results displayed an increase in preference for employers with ethical standards and “inspiring leadership.” By contrast, opportunities for international travel and relocation fell as a priority during that time.
Salary expectations vary by gender, the study found. Female students in the U.S. are expecting an annual salary of $62,340, where male students expect $72,306. That’s a gap of 14%. The gap varies by field of study, with computer science showing the smallest at 4%.
See our slideshow above for the top five attractive employers by field of study.