For college grads, money isn't everything
Survey shows students would rather have good health plan than high salary; Disney seen as top potential employer.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - College students would rather have a good health plan than make a lot of money, and many of them want to work at the magical world of Disney, according to a survey released Monday.
Walt Disney (Research) was voted the No 1 potential employer, after coming in 17th last year, among college students, according to the Undergraduate Ideal Employer Ranking Survey conducted by Universum Communications.
Google (Research) leaped 150 positions to second place in the overall survey and was the top employer among information technology students.
Engineering students chose Lockheed Martin Corporation, which knocked aerospace giant Boeing down from the top spot for the first time ever. General Electric came in third, followed by BMW, Walt Disney, Intel, Google and IBM.
Besides Walt Disney, business students also chose PricewaterhouseCoopers, followed by Ernst&Young, Google and Deloitte & Touche.
Health care was the top ranked industry, with Mayo Clinic, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Glaxosmithkline and Merck in the top five amongst science majors.
Government and public services ranked No. 2, with the Department of State, FBI and CIA ranking high among liberal arts majors.
Liberal arts majors expected to make $39,237 straight out of school while IT majors expected to make $52,229. But more important than base salary, at 74 percent preference, was a strong health plan, at 84 percent, according to the survey. Other important compensation elements included a good retirement plan - such as 401K or 403B, followed by sick/personal and vacation day allowance.
The industries with the highest salary expectations were electronics, engineering consulting, chemical/petroleum, investment banking and venture capital, all in the $52,000s. Five years after graduation, venture capital, at $101,084, and investment banking, at $97,086, become the two industries that are expected to pay the most.
But this year the financial strength of a company was no longer the most important characteristic of an ideal employer. It slipped to 26 percent, compared with the 39 percent of respondents who chose high ethical standards as the one most significant factor when determining what company to work for, the survey said.
Most college students said their career goals are to balance their personal and professional life, pursue further education, build a sound financial base and contribute to society.
The study polled over 37,000 students from 207 schools in the U.S.
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