From education to employment

Over two thirds of final year students and graduates are prioritising hybrid working over salary in perspective jobs

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The team behind National Graduate Week #NGW2021, the UK’s biggest online graduate event which is taking place between the 18th and 22nd October, have conducted research to find out what final year university students and recent graduates are hoping for from prospective roles and employers.

A survey was commissioned by to over 2,200 final year university students and recent graduates from UK universities to find out what they’re looking for and prioritising when looking for future work. It was found that over two thirds of recent graduates and final year university students are looking for opportunities that offer hybrid working options (68% of respondents).

The most common benefits that final year students and recent graduates are looking for in prospective roles are:

  1. Hybrid working options (68% of respondents)
  2. Mental health support (52%)
  3. Training budget (32%)
  4. Gym memberships (26%)
  5. High salary (11%)

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 18 months ago, the world of work has changed massively, with hybrid and remote working becoming more common. Further to the 68% of respondents who said that they’re prioritising hybrid working options, 12% of respondents said that they won’t even consider a role if it doesn’t offer hybrid working options.

Just over half of final year students and recent graduates (52%) have said that they are looking for roles that boast mental health support, with many priortising this over a high starting salary (11%).

Sharon Walpole, spokesperson for, commented:

“Seeing that so many graduates and final year students are hoping to see hybrid working options in roles that they’re going to be applying for isn’t a surprise, especially as so many companies have changed their ways of working since the pandemic, with the majority of staff having to adapt to hybrid and remote working.

“With such a low number of students and graduates hoping for high starting salaries, it’s clear to see that proposed salaries are not on the top of their priority list. However, instead of hoping for high salaries, we’re seeing many more looking for wellbeing to be priortised in prospective roles, with many hoping for both mental health support and gym memberships to be included within the role.”

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