This article is published in the November 2018 issue.

Helping Others is the Highest Rated Career Value for Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students in Computing

Whether a career path will satisfy an individual’s career values can play an important role in the type of jobs they pursue and their work engagement. This graphic shows the top five career values that undergraduate and graduate students in computing fields rated the highest among a list of 15 values. For both groups of students, helping other carries the highest importance. Making a lot of money, ability to decide what they will work on, making important decisions at work, and working collaboratively with others are the next four values in order of importance for undergraduate students. For graduate students, helping others is followed by ability to decide what they will work on, working collaboratively with others, making important decisions at work, and having a social impact.

An understanding of the career values that are of highest importance to students can help faculty in providing career advice and employers in creating the work conditions that will enable employees to satisfy these values.

Notes: The survey data used in this chart were collected during the fall 2017 by CERP via the Data Buddies Project. The sample includes 8,960 undergraduate and 4,301 graduate students majoring in a computing field. Students were asked to rate how much importance they place on a number of career values on a scale of Not at all (1), Slightly (2), Somewhat (3), Quite a bit (4), Extremely (5). The question asked, “How important to you is it that your future career allows you to do the following?” The full list of career values with mean values for undergraduate and graduate students, respectively, in parenthesis: Be a role model for people in my community (3.38, 3.76), Be in charge (2.91, 3.45), Become well-known in my field (3.09, 3.56), Bring honor to my family (2.91, 3.34), Decide for myself what I will work on (3.55, 3.99), Give back to my community (3.42, 3.85), Have a lot of responsibility at work (3.38, 3.67), Have a social impact (3.45, 3.89), Help others (3.81, 4.12), Make a lot of money (3.77, 3.71), Make important decisions at work (3.53, 3.95), Serve humanity (3.36, 3.85), Spend a lot of time with my family (3.45, 3.87), Take time off work to care for my family (3.46, 3.88), Work collaboratively with others (3.51, 3.96).

This analysis is brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. Subscribe to the CERP newsletter here.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant numbers (CNS-1246649; and/ or DUE-1431112). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.