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Empirical study of economic behavior of freshmen and graduates: results and summary.

Empirical study of economic behavior of freshmen and graduates: results and summary.Empirical study of economic behavior of freshmen and graduates: results and summary.
Olga Shcherbakova , аспирант, ph.d. психологических наук, профессор

Евгения Потравная, аспирант

Российский Экономический Университет им. Г.В. Плеханова, Россия

Участник конференции

Annotation:Annotation:The author is particularly focused on the carried out questionnaire survey  among the students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. The goal of this research is to reveal the differences in economic behavior of university freshmen and graduates.

Annotation:The author is particularly focused on the carried out questionnaire survey  among the students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. The goal of this research is to reveal the differences in economic behavior of university freshmen and graduates.

Keywords: economic behavior, freshmen, graduates, cause of attraction  graduates, gradate recruitment.

 

Subject of university students and employers cooperation is relatively new for modern Russian business activity. Bibliography uncovering the idea of gradaterecruitment doesn’t almost exist though the advantages of this technique have been already noticed in labour market.[1] In this climate, only right positioning of the company–employer among students and graduates can attract and select the best graduates in labour market.  

Among the main avenues of the Russian Government activities for the period up to 2018 there has been an intention to increase labour production by 1.5 times by 2018 with reference to 2011 and to create not less than 25 mln high-productive working placesby 2020. The ground for it is the investments growth and technological renovation of industry, competition development, science and technology development support, advanced training of employed people and qualified labour market creation, international integration development.[3]

Modern employer when working with students is more interested not in their basic skills which they acquired in the Institute but in their additional skills. Every expert defines the list of such skills differently. As a rule, when it comes to young professionals, it’s the absence of communication skills and insufficient practical knowledge regarding the work as a part of company. There should be communication built with graduates based on the market demands. Graduates and university students can not decide for themselves where they will work; do not have information concerning employers’ internships; do not understand what companies are there in the market. That’s the target group for which open information in mass media about company activities is of high importance, it’s the only source to find information about junior posts.  

Graduates attraction should be dealt with not only due to the reasons connected with HR services goals but exactly in order to cut down expenses on staff recruitment. Young professionals still have unique qualities which distinguish them from experienced experts: ability to learn, to work with information, to analyze the information, creative thinking, creativity, willingness to give their potential powers to the company for a relatively small remuneration of labour, also it’s highly possible to develop strong devotion of young professionals to the company, etc. In modern times, the level of graduates’ education differs much from the one of the Soviet times. Nowadays, the knowledge of young professionals is more relevant for modern business activities.

In frames of the research of university students and employers cooperation, we conducted a questionnaire survey among the students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. 200 studentswerequestioned. The goal of this research is to reveal the differences in economic behavior of university freshmen and graduates. The reasons of these differences are necessary for modern employers who are interested in building the communication with universities. In order to build an attractive image of a company as an employer (HR brand) it is necessary to understand the most effective communication ways while working with students and graduates.[2] When conducting our research, we used a questionnaire developed by us which included seven questions, one of which was open. 

The respondents were offered to choose a field of business where they were planning to work. 37% of undergraduates couldn’t decide on their future specialty, they were ready to consider different vacancies simultaneously in several business fields not connected with each other. The number of freshmen who could not make a decision was 60%. The data received is consistent but the number of undecided does not diminish even by half and that where we should be concerned. On the one hand, it can be explained by unwillingness to work according to the qualification acquired, and obtaining higher education for the sake of appearance. On the other hand, it can be explained by low level of organization of professionally oriented activities among students by University administration as well as by employers.

Two major factors when choosing a company, an employer for graduates, appeared to be the level of salary, career prospects; the least important was the location of the company depending on how close it is to home. For freshmen, the significance of career prospects appeared to be more important than the salary. Such professionals are ready to work for minimal monetary reward in order to get the experience. It makes sense that every year such a desire of students decreases as they gain theoretical and practical experience.

Respondents were offered as well to indicate the most attractive companies-employers as if they chose their future job. Needless to say, all the respondents who took part in the survey wanted to work in different business fields. Despite this fact, the companies indicated in questionnaires were well-known as among customers due to their product brand or services as among jobseekers in labour market. These are global companies comprising experts of different levels and positions. It’s worth mentioning that it was much easier for undergraduate respondents to give an answer for this question than for freshmen. 13% of freshmen couldn’t answer the given question, they simply didn’t think about their future job. We can highlight two tendencies in economic behavior of students. The first one is the value of practical experience when mixing working and studying. Such graduates face the market having the experience and that can help them to find the job. The second one is the value of theoretical knowledge and desire to face the market being well theoretically prepared.

The data received show that the most of university graduates are not going to work according to their qualification but anyway appear to be interested in being employed by choosing the best in labour market. Their practical skills only confirm it about today’s employers. To be assigned for the job in unknown company without any information about its internal operation processes – that’s not what modern students want. It proves that there is no more space for the notion of “lifetime employment” in our lives; young professionals became more ambitious and resilient being ready to give their powers for the sake of company’s positive image.

The most attractive working place as for freshmen as for undergraduates became Gazprom company. The company was chosen for a reason. In 2012, according to Head Hunter, the company won the award in nomination “Best Employer”. 

The respondents were offered to choose no more than 3 factors according to which they could indicate company’s data. The results are reflected in per cents of total amount of answers.

The most important reasons for undergraduate students were: career prospects – 25,7%, company status in labour market - 23,90%, products and services brand of the company know by customers – 21,70%. Forfreshmen – careerprospects – 25,60%, company status in labour market – 24,20%, high salary - 22,30%. Graduates are willing to work for companies of strong products brand. There is a tendency among freshmen to receive high salary and, at the same time, to have the possibility to study with the help of employers resources. Insignificant difference in data received indicates that the phenomenon is not highly developed however the gist of students’ economic behavior at this stage is different.

The reasons for students to refuse employment offers, if there are no other job offers, are following:                   

Graduates and freshmen noted: no career prospects – 26,70%,and 26,60%;negative image of a company – 21,20%and 21,80%; below market salary – 20,50% and 19,90%.The respondents when choosing a working place are not afraid if there are no training programmes– 6,20%and 7%as well as inconvenient location of a company -8,80% and 11,4%.

The respondents were offered to choose the source of information which they pay attention to when looking for a future company of employment. For undergraduates, the top one became: Top to bottom /Bottom to top list of employers – 20,20%; mass media – 17,40%, company’s official site -  16,70%. For freshmen: mass media - 19,5%, To pto bottom /Bottom to top list of employersandcompany’s official site - 17,2% each.

Average percent diversity in the sources revealed doesn't exceed 1,2%, which demonstrates that young professionals are ready to get information about a company by means of various sources.

We would like to mention that this question didn’t involve the whole range of possible communication channels but only conventional ones. It speaks of openness and willingness of students to receive information about a company through all sorts of sources. However, there has been traced a tendency for mass media to take a leading part. It’s important for a young professional simply to obtain corporate information about a company and the way he/she gets it is next in the line.

One of the questions of the questionnaire proposed the choice of the most interesting activitiesoperated by a company-employer. The respondents had to choose no more than three options. The respondents distinguished main significant activities: internships – 36,40%(graduates) and 38,20%(freshmen), company tours – 23,30%(graduates) and 20,10%(freshmen),

 Most of the questions of the questionnaire included the option “another” and the respondents could write down their own answers. When the answers were processed we noticed that this option was not popular among students and was marked only 4 times. These data regarding the mentioned option can mean either unwillingness to think, analyze, or lack of students’ competence regarding this subject.     

Summarizing the presented results we can distinguish some differences in economic behavior of students – freshmen and graduates:

Questionnaire survey of freshmen revealed that they still don’t know which field they want to work in; know little about modern employers; receive information about companies’ activities through mass media; want to take part in internships; will not consider working for a company with bad image and no career prospects; ready to give up on training programmes for the sake of higher salary.

Economic behavior of graduates can be described by following: they haven’t decided which field they want to work in but well aware of the best employers in labour market. They also receive information about companies’ activities through mass media; want to take part in internships; young professionals’ job choice main criteria are following: career prospects, high salary, and company’s image. 

It is worth noting that the conducted research shows future directions the issue may develop. More elaborated study should be taken into account additional variables like gender diversity. Research hypothesis is that the differences in economic behavior of university freshmen and graduates exist but they are not significant. There is a logical tendency in increase of information awareness of graduates. There is also a tendency in decrease of psychological influence for students’ economic behavior. Graduates are more ready to sacrifice their material remuneration in exchange for the value of practical experience for free. Freshmen are not ready for such steps and rank first their purely economic goals demonstrating their confident nature. Insignificant differences also prove that professionally oriented activities are not developed enough in Institutions of Higher Education. The possibility to elaborate the tools for cooperation with students can help to prepare them for efficient and conflict-free collaboration with their future employers.

      

References:

  1. Kytsevol V.A. «A role of graduate recruitment in job placement of young people» Russian labor market through the eyes of young scientists: Collected articles of round table on October 9th , 2010/ Edited by Kolosova R.P. – M.: MAKS Press, 2011 p.148-152
  2. Brykovskaya O. ,Osovitskaya N. HR-brand. 5 steps to success of your company.-SPb.: Piter, 2011, 284 p.
  3. The main activities of the Government of the Russian Federation for the period until 2018 (approved by Prime Minister January 31, 2013) / / www.kremlin.ru
3.      The main activities of the Government of the Russian Federation for the period until 2018 (approved by Prime Minister January 31, 2013) / / www.kremlin.ru The author is particularly focused on the carried out questionnaire survey
 
among the students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. The goal of this research is to 
 
reveal the differences in economic behavior of university freshmen and graduates.
 
Keywords: economic behavior, freshmen, graduates, cause of attraction graduates, gradate 
 
recruitment
 
Subject of university students and employers cooperation is relatively new for modern 
 
Russian business activity. Bibliography uncovering the idea of gradate recruitment doesn’t almost 
 
exist though the advantages of this technique have been already noticed in labour market.[1] In this 
 
climate, only right positioning of the company–employer among students and graduates can attract 
 
and select the best graduates in labour market. 
 
Among the main avenues of the Russian Government activities for the period up to 2018 there 
 
has been an intention to increase labour production by 1.5 times by 2018 with reference to 2011 
 
and to create not less than 25 mln high-productive working places by 2020. The ground for it is the 
 
investments growth and technological renovation of industry, competition development, science 
 
and technology development support, advanced training of employed people and qualified labour 
 
market creation, international integration development. 
 
Modern employer when working with students is more interested not in their basic skills 
 
which they acquired in the Institute but in their additional skills. Every expert defines the list 
 
of such skills differently. As a rule, when it comes to young professionals, it’s the absence of 
 
communication skills and insufficient practical knowledge regarding the work as a part of company. 
 
There should be communication built with graduates based on the market demands. Graduates and 
 
university students can not decide for themselves where they will work; do not have information 
 
concerning employers’ internships; do not understand what companies are there in the market. 
 
That’s the target group for which open information in mass media about company activities is of 
 
high importance, it’s the only source to find information about junior posts. 
 
Graduates attraction should be dealt with not only due to the reasons connected with HR 
 
services goals but exactly in order to cut down expenses on staff recruitment. Young professionals 
 
still have unique qualities which distinguish them from experienced experts: ability to learn, to 
 
work with information, to analyze the information, creative thinking, creativity, willingness to give 
 
their potential powers to the company for a relatively small remuneration of labour, also it’s highly 
 
possible to develop strong devotion of young professionals to the company, etc. In modern times, 
 
the level of graduates’ education differs much from the one of the Soviet times. Nowadays, the 
 
knowledge of young professionals is more relevant for modern business activities. 
 
In frames of the research of university students and employers cooperation, we conducted 
 
a questionnaire survey among the students of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. 200 
 
students were questioned. The goal of this research is to reveal the differences in economic behavior 
 
of university freshmen and graduates. The reasons of these differences are necessary for modern 
 
employers who are interested in building the communication with universities. In order to build an 
 
attractive image of a company as an employer (HR brand) it is necessary to understand the most 
 
effective communication ways while working with students and graduates.[2] When conducting our 
 
research, we used a questionnaire developed by us which included seven questions, one of which 
 
was open. 
 
The respondents were offered to choose a field of business where they were planning to 
 
work. 37% of undergraduates couldn’t decide on their future specialty, they were ready to consider 
 
different vacancies simultaneously in several business fields not connected with each other. The 
 
number of freshmen who could not make a decision was 60%. The data received is consistent but 
 
the number of undecided does not diminish even by half and that where we should be concerned. 
 
On the one hand, it can be explained by unwillingness to work according to the qualification 
 
acquired, and obtaining higher education for the sake of appearance. On the other hand, it can be 
 
explained by low level of organization of professionally oriented activities among students by 
 
University administration as well as by employers. 
 
Two major factors when choosing a company, an employer for graduates, appeared to be the 
 
level of salary, career prospects; the least important was the location of the company depending 
 
on how close it is to home. For freshmen, the significance of career prospects appeared to be more 
 
important than the salary. Such professionals are ready to work for minimal monetary reward in 
 
order to get the experience. It makes sense that every year such a desire of students decreases as 
 
they gain theoretical and practical experience. 
 
Respondents were offered as well to indicate the most attractive companies-employers as if 
 
they chose their future job. Needless to say, all the respondents who took part in the survey wanted 
 
to work in different business fields. Despite this fact, the companies indicated in questionnaires 
 
were well-known as among customers due to their product brand or services as among jobseekers 
 
in labour market. These are global companies comprising experts of different levels and positions. 
 
It’s worth mentioning that it was much easier for undergraduate respondents to give an answer 
 
for this question than for freshmen. 13% of freshmen couldn’t answer the given question, they 
 
simply didn’t think about their future job. We can highlight two tendencies in economic behavior of 
 
students. The first one is the value of practical experience when mixing working and studying. Such 
 
graduates face the market having the experience and that can help them to find the job. The second 
 
one is the value of theoretical knowledge and desire to face the market being well theoretically 
 
prepared. 
 
The data received show that the most of university graduates are not going to work according 
 
to their qualification but anyway appear to be interested in being employed by choosing the best in 
 
labour market. Their practical skills only confirm it about today’s employers. To be assigned for 
 
the job in unknown company without any information about its internal operation processes – that’s 
 
not what modern students want. It proves that there is no more space for the notion of “lifetime 
 
employment” in our lives; young professionals became more ambitious and resilient being ready to 
 
give their powers for the sake of company’s positive image. 
 
The most attractive working place as for freshmen as for undergraduates became Gazprom 
 
company. The company was chosen for a reason. In 2012, according to Head Hunter, the company 
 
won the award in nomination “Best Employer”. 
 
The respondents were offered to choose no more than 3 factors according to which they could 
 
indicate company’s data. The results are reflected in per cents of total amount of answers. 
 
The most important reasons for undergraduate students were: career prospects – 25,7%, 
 
company status in labour market - 23,90%, products and services brand of the company know by 
 
customers – 21,70%. For freshmen – career prospects – 25,60%, company status in labour market 
 
– 24,20%, high salary - 22,30%. Graduates are willing to work for companies of strong products 
 
brand. There is a tendency among freshmen to receive high salary and, at the same time, to have the 
 
possibility to study with the help of employers resources. Insignificant difference in data received 
 
indicates that the phenomenon is not highly developed however the gist of students’ economic 
 
behavior at this stage is different. 
 
The reasons for students to refuse employment offers, if there are no other job offers, are 
 
following: 
 
Graduates and freshmen noted: no career prospects – 26,70%, and 26,60%; negative 
 
image of a company – 21,20% and 21,80%; below market salary – 20,50% and 19,90%. The 
 
respondents when choosing a working place are not afraid if there are no training programmes – 
 
6,20% and 7% as well as inconvenient location of a company - 8,80% and 11,4%.
 
The respondents were offered to choose the source of information which they pay 
 
attention to when looking for a future company of employment. For undergraduates, the top one 
 
became: Top to bottom /Bottom to top list of employers – 20,20%; mass media – 17,40%, 
 
company’s official site - 16,70%. For freshmen: mass media - 19,5%, Top to bottom /Bottom to 
 
top list of employers and company’s official site - 17,2% each. 
 
Average percent diversity in the sources revealed doesn't exceed 1,2%, which 
 
demonstrates that young professionals are ready to get information about a company by means of 
 
various sources.
 
We would like to mention that this question didn’t involve the whole range of possible 
 
communication channels but only conventional ones. It speaks of openness and willingness of 
 
students to receive information about a company through all sorts of sources. However, there has 
 
been traced a tendency for mass media to take a leading part. It’s important for a young professional 
 
simply to obtain corporate information about a company and the way he/she gets it is next in the 
 
One of the questions of the questionnaire proposed the choice of the most interesting 
 
activities operated by a company-employer. The respondents had to choose no more than three 
 
options. The respondents distinguished main significant activities: internships – 36,40% (graduates) 
 
and 38,20% (freshmen), company tours – 23,30% (graduates) and 20,10% ( freshmen), 
 
Most of the questions of the questionnaire included the option “another” and the 
 
respondents could write down their own answers. When the answers were processed we noticed 
 
that this option was not popular among students and was marked only 4 times. These data regarding 
 
the mentioned option can mean either unwillingness to think, analyze, or lack of students’ 
 
competence regarding this subject. 
 
Summarizing the presented results we can distinguish some differences in economic 
 
behavior of students – freshmen and graduates: 
 
 Questionnaire survey of freshmen revealed that they still don’t know which field 
 
they want to work in; know little about modern employers; receive information about companies’ 
 
activities through mass media; want to take part in internships; will not consider working for a 
 
company with bad image and no career prospects; ready to give up on training programmes for the 
 
sake of higher salary. 
 
 Economic behavior of graduates can be described by following: they haven’t decided 
 
which field they want to work in but well aware of the best employers in labour market. They 
 
also receive information about companies’ activities through mass media; want to take part in 
 
internships; young professionals’ job choice main criteria are following: career prospects, high 
 
salary, and company’s image. 
 
 It is worth noting that the conducted research shows future directions the issue 
 
may develop. More elaborated study should be taken into account additional variables like 
 
gender diversity. Research hypothesis is that the differences in economic behavior of university 
 
freshmen and graduates exist but they are not significant. There is a logical tendency in increase of 
 
information awareness of graduates. There is also a tendency in decrease of psychological influence 
 
for students’ economic behavior. Graduates are more ready to sacrifice their material remuneration 
 
in exchange for the value of practical experience for free. Freshmen are not ready for such steps and 
 
rank first their purely economic goals demonstrating their confident nature. Insignificant differences 
 
also prove that professionally oriented activities are not developed enough in Institutions of Higher 
 
Education. The possibility to elaborate the tools for cooperation with students can help to prepare 
 
them for efficient and conflict-free collaboration with their future employers. 
 
References
 
1. Kytsevol V.A. «A role of graduate recruitment in job placement of young people» Russian 
 
labor market through the eyes of young scientists: Collected articles of round table on 
 
October 9th 
 
2. Brykovskaya O. , Osovitskaya N. HR-brand. 5 steps to success of your company.- SPb.: 
 
Piter, 2011, 284 p.
 
, 2010/ Edited by Kolosova R.P. – M.: MAKS Press, 2011 p.148-152
Комментарии: 5

Urte Lina Orlova

The artcile touches very important issue. Clear distinction of set of values of freshmen and graduate students is important aspect. Would be worth developing the topic further and analysing not only via additional variables such as gender issues ("gender diversity" as stated by author), but also comparison of student groups with different educational background (economics and, for example, nature sciences). Best luck.

Деревянкин Павел Андреевич

Interesting article, reliance on freshman-to-senior group differences to chart changes can mask any number of dynamics in the data that may implicate significant impacts.

Aleksey Konovalov

Статья не отработана. Хотя речь идет об эмпирических исследованиях однако не показаны варианты вопросов и ответов, в статистическом плане (баланс, например). Словом, не достает эмпирического анализа. Причины понятные - в ошибках методики опроса (по сути и содержанию). Желаем успехов, ждем более удачного продолжения.

Зульфугарзаде Теймур Эльдарович

Работа имеет важное теоретическое и, одновременно, прикладное значение. Авторы заслуживают весьма высокой положительной оценки.

Шенцева Елена Анатольевна

Авторами рассматривается экономическое поведение студентов (первокурсников и выпускников) с разных, безусловно важных аспектов. Выводы подтверждают (в который раз!!!) наличие весьма острой социальной проблемы - чудовищного инфантилизма студентов. Как представляется, статья бы только выиграла, если бы коллеги хотя бы в контурном виде дали комментарий данной проблеме. С уважением, Елена.
Комментарии: 5

Urte Lina Orlova

The artcile touches very important issue. Clear distinction of set of values of freshmen and graduate students is important aspect. Would be worth developing the topic further and analysing not only via additional variables such as gender issues ("gender diversity" as stated by author), but also comparison of student groups with different educational background (economics and, for example, nature sciences). Best luck.

Деревянкин Павел Андреевич

Interesting article, reliance on freshman-to-senior group differences to chart changes can mask any number of dynamics in the data that may implicate significant impacts.

Aleksey Konovalov

Статья не отработана. Хотя речь идет об эмпирических исследованиях однако не показаны варианты вопросов и ответов, в статистическом плане (баланс, например). Словом, не достает эмпирического анализа. Причины понятные - в ошибках методики опроса (по сути и содержанию). Желаем успехов, ждем более удачного продолжения.

Зульфугарзаде Теймур Эльдарович

Работа имеет важное теоретическое и, одновременно, прикладное значение. Авторы заслуживают весьма высокой положительной оценки.

Шенцева Елена Анатольевна

Авторами рассматривается экономическое поведение студентов (первокурсников и выпускников) с разных, безусловно важных аспектов. Выводы подтверждают (в который раз!!!) наличие весьма острой социальной проблемы - чудовищного инфантилизма студентов. Как представляется, статья бы только выиграла, если бы коллеги хотя бы в контурном виде дали комментарий данной проблеме. С уважением, Елена.
Партнеры
 
 
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