Future Workforce Expectation Survey 2012 Highlights

About the study  

The objective of this study is to understand and analyse the expectations of students who graduate from colleges across the country and are eligible for being considered for employment. For the purpose of this report the term future workforce / GenNext has been used to connote the respondents of this study, most of them are below the age of twenty five years. The study aims to

  • Make meaningful comparisons across various segments of the future workforce.

  • Provide pointers to industry on the typical expectation profile of the future work force.

  • Make international comparisons wherever possible.

  • The findings of this study provide analyses of demographic variables, future workforce preferences and factor analysed trends on the following aspects.

  • Factors considered while evaluating and selecting a company.

  • Preferred source for obtaining information about the company.

  • Preferred selection methods.

  • Preferred mode of assessment.

  • Preferred industry segment, company and work location (city).

  • Preferred compensation.

What’s different about the present study?

  • First-of-its kind, comprehensive study designed to understand future workforce expectations.

  • Surveyed students from broad academic streams - Engineering, Non Engineering, Non-Management, Management premier and Management-non-premier.

  • Data collected from a large representative and comprehensive sample from institutions across the country.

Research Methodology Top

The research data referenced in this report are based on responses from students of engineering, non engineering and management (premier and non-premier) institutes across the country. Data were collected during October 2011 to February of 2012.

A total of 3177 students participated in the study. The data were screened for outliers, and the final analyses in this report are based on 3149 usable responses.

The respondent profile is exhibited in the table 1

    Table 1
Academic Qualification
Graduate Engineering
Graduate Non-Engineering
Post-Graduate Management - Premier
Post-Graduate Management - Other

The sample of institutions for the study was randomly selected from the universe of colleges available across the country, stratified according to the four regions in India and the academic streams. The cluster of students from the selected sample of institutions was invited to participate in the study. The stratification for the institutes of management education was based on a method of ranking that was developed by the research team based on various published studies which had ranked these institutions. The strata for the premier category of institutes of the management category was those who featured in the top thirty in rankings published by different publications/bodies.

The sample distribution among various institutions across the regions is given in table 1A:

Table 1A

Non - Engineering
Management Premier
Management Others

Executive Summary Top

With around one half of the population of India in the age group of twenty five years or below, there is little doubt that this group or GenNext as we have chosen to call them, will have a very significant impact on the business and economy in the near future. This study of over 3100 respondents across different regions from different academic streams provides a comprehensive snapshot of the expectations of GenNext, by focusing on key relevant issues. This study is a follow-up to the two Future workforce expectations studies conducted in 2008 and 2010-11.

In this study, we wanted to see if there are changes to the expectation profiles in the 3 editions of the survey. Not surprisingly, we find that the expectations have changed considerably over the last 4 or so years.
Clearly, it is imperative for organizations to pro-actively track future workforce expectations, so they may design policies that would help them attract talent with the best ‘fit.’
As an example, this year’s findings reinforce the need for companies to invest time and energy in updating their ‘web’ presence. Students across the board have indicated that they browse the web, especially the company websites for information.

Next, Scientific assessments seem to the preferred choice as far as assessment methods go. It is also interesting to note that students across categories and regions prefer the online mode.
This year’s study also clearly establishes the fact that students prefer to receive thorough formal training from companies before they are given professional responsibilities.
The preference of industry segment seems to be changing based on the students ‘perception’ on how the economy is doing. Financial Services seem to have made a comeback across the different academic streams. Further, in this edition of the study, Engineering students have shown a strong preference for ‘Manufacturing’ (53.5%), while Non Engineering-Non Management students seem to prefer ‘Financial Services’ (27.2%) as the first choice. ‘Manufacturing’ (18%) is the preferred choice of students from premier management institutes while ‘Financial Services’ (24.2%) has been identified as the top choice by non-premier management students.

In this year’s study ‘Job’ and ‘company’ related aspects have been given more weightage over others indicating that GenNext is particular about their job description and content, as well as the company’s reputation and values. Next, as one might predict, compensation expectations have gone up when compared to the last two editions of the survey across the board.

In terms of work location, the National Capital region (NCR) retains its tag as the most preferred work location. Bangalore and Pune also retain their second and third positions respectively.

This year’s findings reinforce the fact that that organisations need to continually understand the changing expectation profiles of the future workforce, as also the regional cultural differences and incorporate this in their talent engagement strategies.

Key Take - aways Top
  • The expectation profile in 2012 appears to have changed significantly compared to 2011.

  • Company image and management have been identified as the most important factors for selecting a company.

  • ‘Mobility’ has been preferred over ‘Stability’ in the 5 year career projection.

  • Entrepreneurship finds favour in the short and medium term.

  • ‘Work-life balance’ appears to be the most important work value.

  • Web resources appear to be most preferred source of information about potential employers.

  • Scientific assessments appear to be the most preferred selection method.

  • ‘Online’ mode of assessments preferred across the board.

  • Manufacturing chosen again as the preferred industry segment.

  • The ‘National Capital Region’ (NCR) consolidates its position as the most favoured work location.


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