Students seek employers with vision and values: KPMG | KPMG Global
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Students seek employers with vision and values: KPMG survey

Students seek employers with vision and values: KPMG

Leading university students rank an organization’s values and vision for the future as top considerations when evaluating potential employers, finds a new survey from KPMG International.


Head of External Communications, Global Industries

KPMG International


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Eighty-four percent of students surveyed said they would not work for a company with values that did not align with their own, while 92 percent said that in choosing their first employer, it is important that the organization has an exciting vision.

The KPMG Student Career Preferences Survey includes opinions of 4165 business and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students studying at some of the world’s leading universities. The vast majority, 89 percent, said that when choosing a future employer it is important that the organization makes a positive difference in the world. Competitive pay and benefits were ranked by students as one of the top criteria for a potential employer, however 79 percent said that working for an organization with a strong sense of purpose was more important than earning the highest salary possible.

Personal and career development are highly valued by the students surveyed. Having the opportunity for personal development and earning professional qualifications was a top ranked motivating factor for selecting an employer, identified by 47 percent. Gaining experience that prepares them for bigger and better things, mastering a broad set of skills, and learning from great people were identified by students as priorities for their first 2 years of work.

Rachel Campbell, Global Head of People with KPMG International, said, “Our Student Career Preferences survey is very consistent with what we hear from our university hires. Values and purpose are major drivers of employment consideration and engagement. Students today expect flexible career paths - whether that means working in multiple countries or across different parts of an organization. They are seeking careers with meaning and purpose and they are prepared to go where the opportunities take them.”
Students surveyed expressed a global mindset, with 84 percent saying they would be prepared to move regularly to different countries for the right job. Sixty-five percent expect to work in between 2 and 4 countries in their career, 27 percent anticipate working in more than 4 countries. In terms of preferred professions, 43 percent of students surveyed expect to go into finance, with 27 percent looking to professional services, and 13 percent identifying the technology field.

Iain McLaughlin, Head of Global Resourcing, KPMG International said, “The survey reinforces that millennials are especially motivated to do work that benefits society and to be part of an organization that they feel is making a positive impact in the world. This is very much coupled with an ambition to learn, master skills and gain experience rapidly so that they can progress their careers.”

For more information, contact:

Kent Miller
KPMG International
+1 908 313 5037

About the KPMG Student Career Preferences Survey

The survey was conducted between October 2016 and March 2017, with 4165 students studying in the business and STEM fields at leading universities across 68 countries. Students were identified and sent the survey by KPMG member firm recruitment professionals in those countries. The survey results are being announced in conjunction with the KPMG International Case Competition (KICC), taking place in Lisbon from 10 - 13 April 2017. KICC brings together student teams from 23 countries to compete in developing and presenting solutions to real world business cases.

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 189,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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