- Most college students said jobs that contribute to society are important or very important to them in a College Pulse survey. The research and data analytics company polled more than 20,000 college students and found that 69% favor work that makes a difference in society, according to a news release.
- Respondents believe the biggest contributors to society are physicians, engineers, teachers, scientists and construction workers. The professions that make the least contributions to society, according to the respondents, are consultants, politicians and financial advisors.
- When it comes to law enforcement workers, black or African American students were twice as likely as white students to say they contribute "not very much" to society, the survey found. Respondents at the top 50 universities are twice as likely as other students to think financial service workers contribute "not very much" or "nothing at all," while more male respondents than female respondents think entrepreneurs contribute "a lot" to society.
Money is still a big motivator for workers and job seekers, but less so it seems with the younger generations. A recent Indeed survey found that college graduates flock to jobs in the arts and social services over once-popular finance jobs, which also supports the idea that today's young workers want to make a contribution to society. A MetLife survey recently showed that more workers in general believe their employers should help resolve society's problems, though taking on societal problems presents difficulty for most organizations. What will soon be a majority of the labor force — millennials and Gen Zers — supports "social enterprise," which pressures employers to consider these activities if they want to recruit, hire and retain them.
Employers filling occupations that College Pulse's respondents think contribute the least to society may face a greater challenge. It may be incumbent upon talent professionals to sell potential recruits on why these types of jobs are meaningful and focus on how the candidates' unique skill sets and qualities can bring further meaning to that work. Embracing corporate social responsibility could also help employers cultivate a brand as a socially impactful organization, perhaps gaining them a competitive edge for recruiting these generations of talent.