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Three Quarters of University Students Obtained Work Experience During their Studies

Prague, 30 November 2015 – Although 72% of the Czech university students who took part in the survey gained work experience through temporary or seasonal jobs, only a third of them (35%) consider them to be useful. In contrast, almost all of the respondents (90%) who possess work experience related to their field of study think that their experience was useful. 62% of the respondents gained this experience in the Czech Republic and only 11% abroad, which was mostly due to the limited amount of such places and also because a substantial number of them were unpaid. Regarding work intensity, the young generation of Czechs consider the work-life balance to be of great importance. These are the results of Deloitte’s fourth edition of the survey entitled “First Steps into the Labour Market,” which comprises responses from over 2,400 students from 8 countries across Central and South-Eastern Europe.

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Lukáš Kropík
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Deloitte ČR
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“The possibility to acquire and develop new skills was, together with a pleasant working atmosphere, assessed as the most important criterion in choosing a job. The young generation wants their jobs to be creative and varied. They want to be able to realise their full potential and to use and develop their talent. However, what they want most is to enjoy their job and to see a specific, tangible impact of their endeavour,” said Lucie Lidinská, Senior Consultant in the Consulting function at Deloitte.

People with narrow experience saw an attractive salary as the main criterion, whilst students and graduates with broader experience emphasised interesting projects above all else. The responses also showed stark differences between the two genders: “As far as job selection is concerned, men saw interesting projects as their priority, while for women, the most important criterion was a good working atmosphere. However, a good atmosphere was equally frequent as a second criterion for both genders,” added Klára Šimčíková, Consultant in the Consulting function at Deloitte.

Students who strive to become managers were ten times more likely to put opportunities for advancement as their top choice as opposed to respondents who want to become experts in their field of study.

Compared to the rest of the region, Czech respondents were the least likely to want to work in an open space and most likely to want to share an office with one to five colleagues.

Salary Expectations

The starting salary that Czech students expect is approximately EUR 926 a month, which is a net salary of about CZK 25,000. This is where they differ from their fellow students in Slovakia, who expect an average salary of EUR 1,000 (CZK 27,000), Croatia (EUR 933) and Hungary (EUR 806). The country where the students expect the highest starting salary at their first job is Slovenia (EUR 1,500), while in Poland (EUR 776) and Albania (EUR 429) the expected starting salary is the lowest.

Career Plans: The Goal of Becoming an Expert

Nearly a third of Czech respondents would like to work in a middle or senior management role in the future. However, these respondents are greatly outnumbered by those who would rather become experts in their fields, not necessarily in a managerial position (45%). According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, the preference for an expert career might be due to the fact that it is seen as less risky and therefore more attractive for women, who made up roughly two thirds of the sample.

At the other end of the spectrum, there is a mere 11% of respondents who would like to set up their own business. Over a third (36%) of respondents strive for a career in a large international company. “According to a worldwide survey conducted by Deloitte which also focused on the young generation, this choice is much more frequent in developing economies as opposed to Western countries,” commented Klára Šimčíková.

Diversity: A Tolerant Approach

Czech students are tolerant towards working in a diverse environment, particularly in terms of age. The vast majority consider older colleagues to be a valuable source of knowledge for those who have only begun to work and about a half of respondents were indifferent as to the age of their direct superiors. “It is not surprising that the young like to learn from their more experienced, older colleagues. In addition, the fact that they can work alongside an experienced, respected professional is a huge motivation for them,” adds Lucie Lidinská.

In terms of gender, the youngest group and the group with the narrowest experience significantly more often prefer men as direct superiors, whilst other groups of respondents are indifferent in this respect. Overall, Czech respondents were most likely to value older employees and, at the same time, see the age of their superiors as unimportant.

The complete study entitled “First Steps into the Labour Market” is available at www.deloitte.com/1steps.

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