Has the economy impacted what Brazilian students want in their careers?

Has the economy impacted what Brazilian students want in their careers?

Last Thursday, Universum released its 2014 rankings of the IDEAL™ Employers in Brazil. Based on a survey of nearly 65,000 undergraduate students, the IDEAL rankings reveal which employers are attracting students and more importantly, why.

The Brazil Student Survey saw one of the largest number of responses among all of the 34 markets where Universum conducts its brazil flagsurveys. “Brazil is a hot talent market right now, and Universum is committed to making a long-term investment in the market,” said Carly Creighton, Universum’s Head of Latin America. “This wide-reaching data sample allows us to provide richer insights that are more representative of what Brazilian students are looking for in their careers.”

Work/ Life Balance and Job Security top priorities for all majors

Work/life balance remains the top career goal for Brazilian undergraduate students, with about 60 percent of all respondents selecting it. This goal has grown steadily in importance since 2011, when only about 48 percent of students selected it. Similarly, job security/stability has seen a sharp increase in importance, with about 52 percent of students selecting it as a top goal compared to about 40 percent two years ago.

Conversely, “being competitively and intellectually challenged” was the second most important career goal in 2011, but has steadily declined to 7th place. Students are also far less interested in having an international career than they were several years ago.

Unlike other countries, where students’ career goals vary widely depending on their major field of study, Brazilian students are quite consistent in their choices. “We see this as an indication that Brazilian students’ career goals are the result of cultural factors, rather than what they study,” commented Creighton. “Multinational firms recruiting talent in Brazil need to pay particular attention to these cultural factors in order to develop compelling employer value propositions.”

Students want employers that will set them on a path for advancement

For employers looking to attract Brazilian students, a focus on advancement opportunities is crucial. Brazilian students are looking for places where they will be able to progress: “a good reference for a future career” is the most attractive attribute an employer could offer to these students. This is followed by “professional training and development” and “a clear path for advancement.”

Engineering and Computer Science students looking outside traditional industries

While engineering students’ interest in manufacturing and extractive sectors such as energy or the automotive industry remains strong, they also demonstrate a keen interest in industries outside of their traditional area of focus. For example, 14 percent of Brazilian engineering students surveyed selected management consulting as one of their top three preferred industries to enter upon graduation. For comparison, seven percent of engineering students surveyed in the United States, and nine percent of those in Canada, made the same selection.

Similarly, students focusing on computer science and information technology showed a strong interest in the banking sector. “Employers can no longer assume that they will attract students simply by being in a certain industry,” said Andre Siqueira, Universum’s Key Account Manager for Brazil. “As students think more broadly about employers where their skills might be put to good use, it’s more important than ever for employers to build a strong brand and understand whether they offer what these students really want.”


Who made Top 100 employer this year?

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About the author

Carly Creighton

Carly is Head of Latin America for Universum Global

 Follow Carly on LinkedIn