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Graduates value career progression over salary

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Graduates prioritise progression opportunities over salary or work-life balance when choosing a career, a new survey from graduate jobs forum WikiJob reveals.

WikiJob polled 1,000 of its forum users, who are all graduate job-seekers, and discovered that over half of them (58 percent) cited career progression as the most important factor when considering where to apply for a graduate role. Only 18 percent of respondents said that they were most motivated by the salary package on offer.The findings correlate with those from EY’s annual graduate survey in March, which saw salary drop from first priority for the first time, to fifth, and training and development take top spot.

Commenting on the findings, James Rice, Head of Digital Marketing at WikiJob, said: “This survey demonstrates that graduates are becoming more long-term when appraising graduate schemes. Whereas once the golden hello and remuneration package was the key factor, today’s graduates are asking: how much will this company invest in me? How will they help me get to where I want to be in ten years’ time?One aspect of the findings that surprised us was the low priority given to company ethics and CSR, with only 4 percent of respondents. Although graduates consistently cite a company’s ethos as important to them, it would seem that’s not enough to dissuade them from applying if the progression opportunities look sufficiently appealing.” 

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