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Taiwan female university students expect 30% less salary than their male counterparts

By Yoke-Han Ang on 14/08/2023

A friendly work environment tops the students’ career priority list.

Taiwan, 20th July 2023 – Universum, a global thought leader in employer branding, has released the Taiwan findings of its annual global talent survey that tracks the career aspirations and preferences of Taiwan’s young talent and measures the level of employer attractiveness of organizations in the market.

In this year’s survey, Universum has collected responses from over 5,000 university students from 36 universities from November 2022 to May 2023. And the study reveals that the banking industry has overtaken financial services & technology as business students’ most preferred industry. While the computer software and technology sector remains the top choice for engineering students, the research shows a notable growing interest (+26%) in their preference to work in IT and engineering consulting.

The study further shows that young talent are drawn towards established employers with global operations founded outside of Taiwan. Despite the strong interest in working for established organizations, the report indicates a growing preference among students to work for a start-up (2023: 30%, 2022: 17%).

Flexible working conditions and work-life balance outweigh secure employment

The 2023 study reveals that a “friendly work environment” is Taiwan students’ top preference, compared to the previous two consecutive years where they have ranked “high future earnings” as their number one employer preference. Growing importance was noted in the “flexible working conditions”, which rose from 9th to 3rd place and “encouraging work-life balance”, which increased by 2 places to 4th position. Meanwhile, there was a significant drop in the preference for “secure employment”. It has shifted down to the 13th position this year from the 3rd position in 2022.

In terms of interest in remote work opportunities, the findings indicate that more students are interested in remote work (74% in 2023 compared to 70% in 2022) but they have also expressed their increasing concerns about a remote work setup.

Mike Parsons, Managing Director of APAC for Universum, said “The study shows that young Taiwanese talent entering the workforce are attracted to employers who offer strong ‘quality of life’ benefits, such as encouraging work-life balance and offering workplace flexibility, as well as other softer aspects of the employment experience, such as the friendliness of the working environment. These things can often be challenging for talent to measure before they join a company, which is why it is so important for employers to communicate well about themselves through their employer branding and other talent outreach.

With competition for top talent in Taiwan becoming more intense, it is critical that employers sharpen their talent attraction and employer branding and do what they can to increase their appeal to gain a competitive advantage. It is no longer okay for employers to leave talent attraction to job ads and recruiters alone. Data like this helps employers refine their messaging, lead with the most compelling narratives, and stand out in a noise arena.”

Students’ salary expectations dropped for the first time since 2020

In 2023, the annual salary expectations from students have dipped by 4% from 689 805 TWD to 661 869 TWD. This reversed the trend set since 2020’s survey, which saw a steady increase in the expected annual salary of Taiwan’s young talent in the double-digit range (2020 to 2021: 15%, 2021 to 2022: 21%). Among business/commerce and engineering/IT students, students in the latter group have the highest expectation on salary with an average annual remuneration of 836 315 TWD. However, the research also reveals they have lowered their expectation compared to 2022 by 4%, and this is the first time since 2020 they have reduced their expected salaries.

Other highlights in the survey show the gender pay gap between female and male students has decreased from 36% to 30% with expected salaries of men at 825 463 TWD per annum and women at 577 038 TWD per annum.

Ideal Employer Rankings

This year, engineering/ IT students voted the following as their most attractive employers:

  1. Google
  2. TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company)
  3. Apple
  4. Microsoft
  5. ASML

For business/ commerce students, they selected the following as their most attractive employers:

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Microsoft
  4. Dcard
  5. Amazon

About Universum  

Universum is a data-driven employer branding agency. Founded in Stockholm, we are now active in over 60 countries, with key hubs in Zürich, Paris, Berlin, London, New York, Singapore and Shanghai. The Universum Talent Survey, conducted in over 60 markets worldwide, surveyed more than one million students and professionals about their preferences among potential employers, their career ideas, and communication preferences. Leveraging this, we provide our clients with the research, strategy, and creative solutions they need to compete more effectively for talent.  

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