Students want to work for the state because they have positive views about how these organisations are led. Pedro Vilela/Getty Images
- Most graduates want to work for the government and state institutions.
- This is according to The Most Attractive Employers in South Africa 2022 report.
- The students ranked ethical standards, professional training and development for their preferences.
- Having secure employment only came in fifth.
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Working for the government and state institutions is where most graduates want to work according to The Most Attractive Employers in South Africa 2022 report, compiled by Employer branding agency Universum Global.The report, based on a survey of 56,967 students at 27 universities in SA, found that working for the government and state institutions was their number one choice: in the six categories of Business/Commerce, Engineering/Technology, Sciences, Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education, and Law.Though it might be understandable that the students who were surveyed were looking for the security of state employment in picking government jobs, this was not the case. Job security only came in as the fifth top preference on why they picked these institutions and companies. Rather, their positive views about how these organisations are led drove their preferences. This can be seen in them ranking ethical standards, professional training and development, respect for its people, and leadership opportunities, as the top four reasons for their choices.The need to be part of an organisation that changes society for the better can be seen in the Law category, where students wanted to work respectively at the Constitutional Court, Legal Aid South Africa, the Department of Justice and Correctional Service, and the National Prosecuting Authority.There was a similar story in the Business/Commerce category, where the top choice was the South African Revenue Service and the South African Reserve Bank. Transnet came in third, followed by Deloitte.In the Engineering/Technology category, Transnet came in first, followed by formerly state-owned Sasol. Surprisingly, two companies not even based in SA, but owned by South African born Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX came in fifth and eighth respectively.In Sciences, the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and the Department of Health made up the top three.Those studying in the Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education field want to work for the Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology, the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.With Healthcare/Health Sciences, the Department of Health and Medi-Clinic Southern Africa were the top ranked.Though overall, ethical standards came in tops when it came to preference, there was notable gender divide, as those who identify as female, ethical standards as the reason for their top preference. In contrasts, those who identify as male, ranked leadership opportunities as the reason for their preference.Both ranked professional training and development as their second preference.