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Deloitte: Career Advancement Trumps Financial Incentives For Millennials, Gen X

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Graduate students at the country's leading business schools prefer opportunity for advancement within an organization over financial incentives when evaluating career destinations, according to a Deloitte survey conducted at the fifth annual National MBA Human Capital Case Competition, held October 27-29 at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School captured top honors at the competition which recognizes the student teams' problem-solving and analytical skills, creativity and ability to stay focused under pressure. Teams from University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business and Emory University, Goizueta Business School collected second-place and third-place honors, respectively.

The Human Capital Case Competition is designed to engage MBA students in solving real-world human capital business issues. Additionally, Deloitte surveyed participants to glean insight into their perceptions of the most pressing workforce issues and to better understand the goals, expectations and desires of the next generation of potential leaders. 

Conducted by Deloitte earlier this month in anticipation of the competition, a survey of 43 participating students representing the Millennial demographics (ages 16 less than or equal to 31) and Generation X (ages 32 greater than or equal to 47) revealed 64 percent consider job advancement/promotion as the most important factor when deciding where to launch or continue their career.  Compensation and benefits (44 percent) and "fun" work environment (33 percent) followed as the second and third most important considerations.

"We are just as interested in learning from these students as they may be in learning from us," said Garth Andrus, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Direct exposure to these students through this type of competitive recruiting event is invaluable to our organization.  This approach to recruiting is a response to the swiftly changing demands of tomorrow's workforce, and we are lucky enough to have brought on a number of great participants from past events to join Deloitte."

Students also value professional development initiatives to be critical in their first post-graduate job, according to the survey. Results show that direct project management is valued by nearly half of the respondents as the most important tool for professional development (48 percent).  Nearly 40 percent of respondents revealed direct access to management as the second most important initiative for professional development, while more than three-quarters (77 percent) cited annual goal-setting. 

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