Mecenat Insights – Students’ views on working life

What makes an employer attractive to today’s students and which line of business are they aiming for after exam? We asked that and much more in our latest Mecenat Insights. And we have received a lot of interesting answers, not least for those who want to offer our young professionals an attractive workplace.

Interesting tasks, the opportunity to make a career and social benefit are high on the list when students are looking for their future employer. The drive of today’s students is palpable when they talk about their expectations for future jobs and colleagues. And today it is about much more than getting a job to make ends meet.

Well-being important

The salary is of course important, but a good boss, nice colleagues, and the opportunity to develop in a flexible work situation weigh at least as much. Secure employment is also listed as important. If those criteria are not met, there are clear signals to look around for a new employer.

When the students indicate sectors and companies they see as attractive, they would like to work as public employee, where school and healthcare are most interesting. Among the private employers, Google, Spotify and Volvo are the big winners.

Something that stands out in the survey is the percentage who in one way or another want to run their own business. We see a clear trend in that it’s just as obvious to want to be employed as it is to start and run your own business.

Necessary to work extra

Three quarters state that they want to work extra. It’s clear that the student aid is not enough to live on and that they therefore need the extra jobs. Other reasons are to gain work experience and be able to build your CV.

Many of the students also want to be prepared to look for a job immediately after their exams and see extra jobs as an opportunity to become more employable. Another reason we see clearly is the opportunities that an extra job creates to take a break from studies. Many consider that as very important to be able to cope with their studies.

Of the other 25 percent, many deem that they don’t have time to work extra. A clear trend is that mental health is important; to feel good and have a sustainable lifestyle. A large percentage think that the studies take too much time and that the free time available is needed to recover. Others want to be able to fully focus on their studies. We also see that there are some who don’t work extra because they cannot find any extra jobs to apply for.

Different views on trainee positions

In the survey, we also asked how important the students think it is to have a trainee position. The 41 percent who answered that it is important, believe that it’s a good way to test a workplace or a profession. Others believe that it’s a good way to enter an industry, gain experience and learn in practice and not just get the theoretical knowledge from the education.

Of the remaining 59 percent, who don’t think it’s important to have a trainee position, a large proportion don’t know what a trainee is. Many would rather have a “real job”, which may be based on the fact that the students don’t really know what a trainee position actually entails.

Some think it is better to have the opportunity for a trainee program while studying, while others indicates that many trainee periods run for too long. A large percentage of students also don’t think that the need exists or that it does not exist in the industry for which their education is intended.

The survey was answered by 2,013 randomly selected students aged 20 and above.