Office of Planning and Budgeting

Great Expectations: Accenture College Graduate Employment Survey

Accenture recently released the results from their annual college graduate employment survey. The survey polls more than 2,000 students, including recent graduates and prospective graduates. Similar to last year’s findings, the 2014 report claims that on average, prospective college graduates are overly optimistic when it comes to their opportunities for training and prospective level of compensation.

  • While 80 percent of recent grads expect to receive formalized training from their employer, just 48 percent of 2012/13 grads received such training.
  • 43 percent of 2014 survey respondents expect to earn more than $40,000 at their first job, but only 21 percent of employed 2012/13 grads are actually earning that much.
  • 46 percent of 2012/13 grads feel that they are significantly underemployed, compared to 41 percent last year.

Despite their optimism, it seems college students have also become more practical when it comes to choice of major. Seventy-five percent of students graduating in 2014 claim they took job prospects into account when they chose their major, up from 65 percent in 2012. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters are willing to move out-of-state in order to land a job.

Accenture recommends that employers reassess their hiring strategies in light of these results. Instead of searching for the perfect candidate for an entry-level position, the company should invest in training and education programs that will help retain the employee and help them grow. Furthermore, given the willingness of recent grads to relocate, companies should consider advertising for their positions outside of their local area in order to attract the best talent.

To read our post about last year’s report, please click here. Or, check out the full 2014 Accenture report.

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