What 50,000 Students Have to Say About College Recruiting

Nathan Parcells
What 50,000 Students Have to Say About College Recruiting

What are the best tools for finding internships and jobs? How long does it take for the average  student to find full-time employment after graduation? What are the expected and actual salary levels for every major? What cities/industries do students want to work in?

We are thrilled to share the answers to these questions and many more in WayUp’s 2015 State of College Hiring Report. We run this report every year, and each year, it grows in size and scope. This year, the survey got over 50,000 respondents, making it the largest student job seeker survey of all time!

First and foremost, we wanted to thank all the students who took time to answer our questions. We share the results with as many employers as possible with the goal of creating positive change in the way companies think about hiring and engaging millennials.

The results in the report are fascinating and point to major trends regarding how students are learning new skills (with online courses), what tools they use to find work (Google and other search engines) and what they look for in positions (opportunities to grow and companies with a diverse team and culture). There is too much to go over in one blog post, so we will be doing a series of posts in various channels to help bring to light the biggest takeaways from the report.

Those interested in downloading the full report can do so here.

Below a few of the biggest takeaways we wanted to highlight in this first post:

1.  Over 50% of the class of 2014 remains unemployed or underemployed!

Our survey found that only 45.4% of the class of 2014 is currently enrolled in a full-time job meaning that 54.6% of grads from last year are unemployed or underemployed (this is excluding students enrolled in graduate education). 17.9% of grads are employed part-time, 9.6% are working in the services industry, 7% are continuing to take internships and a seriously high, 16.6% of 2014 grads are fully unemployed as of the time of this survey.

While the US has seen job growth over the past year, the job market for recent grads is incredibly challenging. Our report demonstrates that students who have done multiple internships, who have completed paid internships, who have taken online courses in addition to school work and who have high GPAs all fair much better than their peers.

2. STEM fields lead the charge for highest expected salaries.

Our research found that computer science students (particularly those with high GPAs) on average expected the highest salaries of all students. Even more interesting, is that even with these high expectations, these students were undervaluing their worth on the market with many employers paying well above these expected ranges and a number of leading software engineers getting paid over $100k starting salary right out of school.

On the other end of the spectrum, English, social service and arts majors expect the lowest starting salaries, along with graphic design students. Graphic design is an interesting case, where many designers get paid well, but due to the increase in number of students studying graphic designer (many through large national art schools), the competition for internships/jobs is so high that many students take little to no intern pay at all in order to get a foot in the door.

3.  Women expect significantly lower intern salaries than men.

Women on average expect a starting salary that is $3.00 lower than men, roughly 25% lower. There is a large conversation taking place around the wage gap between men and women, and it is interesting to find that even within a first ever job, women are expecting lower salaries. Given that future salaries are often pegged to prior salaries, this creates longterm discrepancies for women.

Also, based on our recent negotiation study with NerdWallet, we found that women are also much less likely to try to negotiate salary.

Companies should look to ensure that all parties are paid fair internship and entry-level salaries, and all students need to learn how to negotiate and ask for a fair wage.

To download the full report click the button below.