Career Expectations of Young Talents – Student Study 2024

For the fourth consecutive year, we conducted a joint survey with Assert International Bulgaria, dedicated to the career expectations of young talents – Student Study 2024, in partnership with Tuk-Tam, Mentor the Young, New Bulgarian University, and AIBEST. During the month of May, we surveyed 377 students and workers, aged between 16 and 26, giving them the opportunity to share their opinions, expectations, and attitudes on the topic. The aim of the survey was to provide useful advice and guidance to improve the relationship between employers and young talent in the labour market. The data obtained will help employers attract and retain the most promising young professionals by adapting to their expectations and needs.

General profile of participants

Data from the analysis of career expectations of young talent in 2024 highlights the significant interest in career development among those aged between 23 and 26. This dynamic age group demonstrates exceptional career engagement, reflecting their aspiration to establish themselves early in the labour market. From an educational perspective, a significant percentage of respondents, 44.1%, are continuing their education in full-time courses, while 36.4% already have a degree, mostly a master’s or bachelor’s degree.

Factors in choosing an employer

The two main aspects that stand out as the most important when choosing a suitable employer are high salaries and a positive working environment. These factors are essential for all age groups included in the analysis.

Among younger respondents, the 16-18 to 19-22 age groups, the desire for flexible working hours was dominant. It resonates with these talents’ need for work-life balance, as well as a desire for greater autonomy in managing their time.

On the other hand, the group of 23 to 26-year-olds focuses on telecommuting opportunities. This preference reflects the trend towards greater flexibility and the integration of modern technology into everyday life, allowing professional growth without geographical constraints.

Our observations suggest that talent seek not only competitive remuneration but also a modern working environment that supports their desire for personal and professional development in a dynamic environment.

Qualities young people look for in their future mentors and leaders

Survey results show that direct communication is critical for most age groups participating in the survey (19-26 year olds).

Direct communication was identified as a key factor because it is what helps to clearly understand expectations and feedback, which is essential for effective professional development and improved work performance. The importance of this quality cuts across age barriers and demonstrates the universal importance of open and honest communication in the professional environment.

Among the qualities that are not of great importance are having extensive work experience, strong strategic skills and excellent organizational abilities. The survey results underscore the notion that hard skills are not key for young professionals when choosing a supervisor.

This observation points to the younger generation’s preference for a more dynamic and adaptive management style, where interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire and motivate are more important than formal qualifications or years of experience. So young talent is looking for managers who can support their development in a more informal and flexible environment than a rigid corporate structure.

Main conclusions

Adequate remuneration is one of the key factors in retaining and attracting talent in the 16-26 age range. However, for young professionals, the working environment is also extremely important, as are the career development opportunities provided. These aspects are critical when choosing an employer and play a key role in long-term engagement and job satisfaction. Creating a stimulating and supportive environment where they can grow and develop is essential to building loyalty and achieving mutually beneficial relationships between employees and organisations.

The full survey results can be found HERE