Job market insights from CodeSignal’s survey of US college students

Today’s college students are graduating in a society that has changed dramatically over the years. According to a recent survey by CodeSignal, a significant number of students are concerned about finding a job in the current economy, with around 45% expressing that they are “very concerned” and another 40% “somewhat concerned”.

Nevertheless, university recruitment is a top pipeline for companies looking to find qualified and enthusiastic job candidates. In fall 2022, we contacted more than 1,000 college students across the US and surveyed them to learn what they’re looking for in their job searches. Here we have disclosed.

Students value the flexibility of hybrid and remote work

It appears that remote work is here to stay, with the next generation of the workforce clearly preferring hybrid and fully remote options to fully in-person work. A plurality of students favor hybrid work (remote work at least one day per week), with nearly 47% of survey respondents choosing that option. Fully remote work was the top choice for 30% of respondents, with the remaining 23% preferring fully in-person jobs. The numbers are similar when focusing on computer science majors, with just over 51% preferring hybrid work and 30% choosing fully remote.

Nearly half of US college students prefer hybrid jobs that split time between remote work and in-person collaboration.

Students cited flexibility during the work day and reduced commuting obligations as the biggest draws to remote work. For respondents who flagged fully remote work as their top choice, 72% identified spending less time and money as a benefit. Flexibility during working hours was of importance to 66% of this group. In contrast, for students who want to do hybrid work, flexibility was most popular at 70%, with 64% coming in second.

Work-life separation was the biggest appeal of the full in-office model for students who want to work individually, accounting for 71% of that cohort. Socializing with peers is also important to this group, and ranks second at 66%. Students choosing hybrid work do not value these personal benefits at the same frequency as they value the perks of remote work. Socializing was the third most popular reason for the group that chose hybrid work at 53% of responses.

The survey responses reveal several ways for employers to create better workplaces for their employees. The most straightforward would be to offer hybrid and remote work as an option to accommodate the many students who are looking for it. In addition, companies that are aware of the specific reasons employees prefer particular work formats can improve their work cultures. For example, companies may want to emphasize social opportunities on days when employees work from the office.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives influence career decisions

Nearly 90% of respondents consider a company’s commitment to DE&I when choosing a place to work, and nearly 49% said an employer’s DE&I initiatives are “very important” in making that decision. Computer science majors were more likely to prefer DEI than the overall college-going population. Breaking down the responses another way, women were 20% more likely than men to mark the company’s DE&I efforts as “very important,” a statistically significant amount.

Further examination of the differences in responses between women and men suggests that women particularly value flexibility in working arrangements. Among respondents who preferred hybrid work, women were more likely than men to cite flexibility as a reason. Hybrid and remote working options have the potential to introduce more equity into the workplace, making these options a worthwhile consideration for employers focused on improving DE&I.

college student survey blog post m vs f bar chart q4 22 Job market insights from CodeSignal’s survey of US college students
There are different reasons why women and men prefer hybrid work.

Overall, the DE&I; Today’s college students are demanding active DE&I efforts. The tech industry in particular has historically lagged behind in its representation of various minority groups, a problem that students are keenly aware of. Companies that take the lead in addressing systemic DE&I issues stand to attract top talent to their teams.

CodeSignal helps companies hire equitably and at scale

Remote hiring and interviewing are as much a reality of the modern job market as remote work itself. CodeSignal provides a platform of products to assist in recruiting technical candidates remotely. Between technical assessments and virtual interviews, companies using CodeSignal are well equipped to hire from high-volume pipelines such as university recruiting. CodeSignal’s research-backed recruiting solutions increase fairness in the interview process with objective skills assessments designed to reduce bias. To learn more and start expanding your hiring efforts, request a call with a CodeSignal expert today.

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