Gen Z slams door on five-year flat target

Top News | Avery Chen 25 Jan 2019

Fresh university graduates were given an average monthly salary of HK$16,892 in their first job last year - 13 percent higher than the amount in 2017, a survey from jobs portal Jobs DB shows.

The survey of 553 graduates and undergraduates revealed that "buying property" has dropped out of the top three of their five-year graduation targets. It accounted for only 9 percent of respondents on the back of surging property prices that have put buying out of reach of most graduates.

"Reaching management level" tops their five-year plans with 22 percent, followed by "achieving short-term savings targets" (18 percent) and "living independently" (14 percent).

More than 80 percent of graduates are satisfied with their first job with the average monthly salary of HK$17,472, but 18 percent of graduates are dissatisfied with average salaries of HK$14,280.

"Salary and benefits" are the main reason why graduates are dissatisfied (21 percent), followed by "company environment, culture and reputation" (19 percent). Conversely, "salary and benefits" (16 percent) and "company environment, culture and reputation" (17 percent) are also the top two reasons for graduates to feel satisfied with their first job.

The survey also finds that respondents consider banking and financial services the ideal industry and accounting and finance the ideal job category. The majority would also prefer to work for multinational companies (35 percent), nearly double the second choice - the government (19 percent).

However, only 7 percent hope to join start-ups, even lower than "China-based enterprises" (8 percent), reflecting that Generation Z tertiary students - those born in or after 1995 - are still conservative in choosing jobs and employers even if they have slightly different career goals and attitudes from older generations.

The survey shows that the young generation is striving for a better work-life balance. An increasing number (14 percent) are not willing to work overtime and 72 percent are only willing to work a maximum of six hours of overtime a week, compared to 1 percent and 57 percent in 2016, respectively.

Meanwhile, 63 percent plan to work after graduation. But 14 percent would like to become part-timers or freelancers, even higher than continuing studies (11 percent), reflecting Generation Z is eager for an independent life.

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