The Career Advisory Board, established by DeVry University, today announced the results of its survey on today's most desirable jobs. The results include the most ideal job characteristics, the most appealing type of work style and the most prized values when it comes to working.

Even as organizations try to keep up with the evolving workplace by offering customized work arrangements and elaborate perks, in the post-recession world many professionals prefer a return to the basics. Surprisingly, 91 percent of millennials surveyed reported they would like to work at a single full-time job. Eighty-one percent overall said they would prefer a single position that's full-time. Less than 1 percent of respondents preferred special company perks like onsite food, wellness perks and daycare to the more crucial benefits such as medical/dental plans, paid time off and retirement benefits, which rated the most important offerings after competitive salary.

"The survey results show us that businesses today need to be good employers, offering stable employment with competitive base pay and traditional medical and retirement benefits," said Alexandra Levit, business and workplace consultant and Career Advisory Board member. "The average American worker isn't necessarily looking for all the bells and whistles."

The survey is meant to offer actionable advice to job seekers and hiring managers. With a healthier job market than in recent years, job seekers today have more employment options and greater control over their careers.

Key Findings in the 2016 Most Desirable Jobs Survey

Preferred Work Arrangements
  • Of the 81 percent of respondents who prefer a single full-time position, an overwhelming number didn't mind going into an office, but would like some location flexibility (59 percent).
  • Twenty-two percent of respondents said they prefer to go into an office every day, while 18 percent said they'd like working from home all the time. Millennials were more likely to want to work in an office every day than their older colleagues (27 percent).

Hierarchy over Holacracy
  • A majority (56 percent) of respondents said they prefer a job with "authority to make decisions that impact the entire organization," and 36 percent said they still prefer to work for a single manager within a hierarchical structure.
  • Eighteen percent said they enjoy working for a variety of managers in a matrixed structure, and only 11 percent of respondents said they prefer the holacratic style, in which there are no official managers and everyone's input is valued equally. Millennials, interestingly, were only a little more likely to say they prefer matrixed or holacratic reporting structures.

Stability, a Primary Need
  • Respondents slightly preferred jobs that were exciting (57 percent) to predictable (43 percent), and were equally enthused by fun (50 percent) and challenging (50 percent) work, but they overwhelmingly preferred jobs that were stable (84 percent) to risky (16 percent). Even 78 percent of millennials, who are oftentimes associated with job-hopping, said they prefer a stable job situation.

Compensation and Perks
  • Our respondents echoed the notion that competitive compensation is most crucial, followed by role and work schedule. With respect to what would keep our respondents at a company, competitive compensation was again the top priority, with flexibility and challenging work in the second and third spots.
  • Contrary to popular belief, even millennials surveyed said they wouldn't choose a flexible job situation over lucrative pay.

The long-standing power of compensation should not be forgotten by employers seeking to attract and retain the best talent. "According to the survey, compensation is still a top consideration for job applicants," said Madeleine Slutsky, chair of the Career Advisory Board and vice president of career and student services at DeVry University. "Likewise, in order to stay competitive in the marketplace, companies should continually evaluate how they reward and compensate employees in order to retain top talent."

Our 500 respondents represented a diverse sample of American workers. Fifty-one percent were female and 49 percent were male, with 17 percent between ages 22-35, 29 percent 36-49, and 54 percent 53-64. Eighty-two percent were employed full-time, nine percent were employed part-time, and eight percent were self-employed. Eight percent of respondents were skilled laborers, 16 percent were administrative level professionals, seven percent were entry-level professionals, 52 percent were mid-level professionals, and 17 percent were senior or executive-level professionals.

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About the Career Advisory Board

Established in 2010 by DeVry University, the Career Advisory Board is comprised of leading representatives from business and academia who deliver valuable insights on today's most important career trends and provide actionable advice for job seekers. The Career Advisory Board generates original research and commentary, and creates tools, insights and resources to prepare job seekers for success. Its members include executives from DeVry University, Google, Apple, HP, IBM, and LinkedIn, as well as nationally recognized career experts. For more information, visit

Survey Methodology

The Career Advisory Board's Most Desirable Jobs research was designed to discover the most preferred employment situations among American workers in order to provide hiring managers with intelligence that can help them recruit and retain talent in what is increasingly a job seekers' market.

The survey of 504 workers was conducted online within the United States by DeVry University on behalf of the Career Advisory Board in July 2016.

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