Class of 2008 Tuned into Retirement, Health Benefits

May 1, 2008 ( - A survey by a job site aimed at new college graduates found that the Class of 2008 considers health care coverage and a retirement savings program as very important when evaluating a job offer.

A news release from said new grads polled listed as important factors in their employment consideration: health benefits (60%), job security (57%), retirement packages (45%), and the commute (42%). The survey also indicated that 31% of the class of 2008 have already accepted or are considering a full-time job offer compared to only 22% of new grads polled last year – the highest number of job offers in hand since the inception of the surveys.

According to the news release, early job offers were highest in finance and banking (12%); engineering (9%); communications/media (9%); education (7%); technology (7%); accounting (6%); and health care (5%). The poll also found that fewer students plan to attend graduate school than in previous years (12% of the Class of 2008 versus 15% of 2007 and 2006 graduates).

Some 47% of respondents said they expect to stay in their first full-time job for less than two years.

Just over four in 10 respondents reported they felt better prepared for a full-time position having held one or more internships – up 35% from 2007.

“Larger employers are facing a very serious recruiting issue as baby boomers retire,” explains Experience CEO Jenny Florien, in the news release. “Given the impact entry-level candidates will have to make from day one, organizations who understand what students value will be more successful in their recruiting and retention of Gen Y workers.”

College students who opted to receive communication from Experience were invited to participate in Experience, Inc.’s online “Graduate Job Survey 2008,” which ran between March 26 and April 20, 2008. Some 3,890 individuals completed the survey. A parallel survey of employers ran from March 15-21, 2008, measuring responses from 108 employers.