Where do millennials most want to work? 3M, according to a survey of 13,000 high school students, college students and young professionals. Last year’s top-ranked company, Google, is second on the 2016 list of most desirable employers.
This year’s Millennial Career Survey is the ninth annual report from the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), an international honors organization that aims to advance the goals of high achieving students. The full report digs into employment preferences, career planning, educational goals and life choices of the millennial generation.
“The NSHSS survey helps our organization and employers understand the goals and interests of this influential generation,” said Susan Thurman, scholarship director of NSHSS, in a statement. “Our survey offers important insights for employers to develop strategies to engage and retain top talent."
Respondents, who range in age from 15 to 32, ranked their top three workplace preferences from a list of more than 200 companies. The top 25 employers of choice are:
3. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
4. Walt Disney Company
5. Local hospital (write-in option)
9. Central Intelligence Agency
11. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
12. Health Care Services Corporation
13. Mayo Clinic
16. U.S. State Department
17. Universal Studios
19. DreamWorks Animation
20. The New York Times
22. National Security Agency
23. Abercrombie & Fitch
24. Blue Cross Blue Shield
Other tech companies that show up on the full list include: Intel (#37), Adobe (#38), Facebook (#39), Dell (#47), IBM (#57), HP (#74) and Cisco (#75).
When asked about salary and perks, respondents rate flexible work hours as the most important factor in choosing an employer (cited by 70%), followed by benefits (60%), base salary (46%), and performance bonuses (19%).
On the topic of employer perception and image, respondents value companies that treat employees fairly (cited by 73%), exercise corporate social responsibility (47%), have a favorable brand image (40%), and offer prestige (31%).
For job-specific qualities, respondents are nearly universally looking to gain skills to advance their careers (cited by 90%). They also value international experience (48%) as well as opportunities to work on a team (41%) and travel for work within the U.S. (11%).
When asked about the benefits of diversity and inclusion, 42% of respondents said it helps an organization generate new ideas and creative solutions, and 35% said it creates an organization that shows more respect for each individual. Other benefits of diversity include: stimulates a process of constant learning (15%), and creates a more socially responsible employer (6%). Just 2% of respondents said diversity and inclusion are not beneficial to an employer.
Other key findings from the 2016 Millennial Career Survey include:
Half of respondents will work while in college. Forty-nine percent of respondents say they do or will work while in college, up from 43% in 2015. In addition, 24% say they need to work not only to pay for their own expenses but also to help with family expenses.
Graduate school is part of the plan. Eighty-one percent of respondents plan to attend, currently attend or have already attended graduate school. The most popular graduate school programs are medical/health (41%), science and engineering (23%), and business (13%).
Community service matters. Fifty-seven percent of respondents say they spend part of their free time volunteering. The issues they most hope to impact include education (46%), health (32%), social justice (29%), and the environment (29%).
"Currently, the top career interests of this group are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), business and arts, entertainment and media. Millennials hope to find in the workplace fair treatment, corporate social responsibility and strong company benefits, which include flexible work schedules,” said James Lewis, president of NSHSS.