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Hiring Technical Talent

Top 5 Takeaways from the Student Developer Report

Written By Dana Frederick | January 3, 2019


We surveyed over 10,000 student developers across the world to get a pulse on today’s early talent. In our study, we aimed to paint a full picture of hiring today’s student developer: what skills they have, how they learn, and what they care about in a job.

If you’re interested in reading the full Student Developer Report, you can do so here. For now, here are the top takeaways:

1. All students look beyond the classroom to learn coding—even Computer Science majors.

Of the 10,351 students we surveyed, a massive 76% of them are Computer Science (CS) majors. But that doesn’t stop them from learning outside the classroom. Even though most students are learning to code through their major, the majority still rely on some form of self-teaching to fill in the gaps.

Most notably, students turn to StackOverflow, YouTube, and Books to learn to code outside the classroom.


2. With students, JavaScript expertise is hard to come by.

Employers need developers that know JavaScript—in fact, 48% of global employers say they need it. But globally, students aren’t prepared to meet that level of demand. Their gap in JavaScript expertise also impacts their framework knowledge. In fact, they fall behind employer needs for every JavaScript framework, including Node.js, AngularJS, React, among others.

So, where does this gap stem from? For better or worse, it isn’t black and white. But the fact that most top CS programs don’t include JavaScript could be a part of it.

3. Students aren’t driven by perks.

Globally, student developers care more about professional growth & learning than anything else (including perks and compensation). On one hand, this is a reflection on what students value most—opportunities to advance their career and grow their skills.

On the other hand, it could also be a reflection of what junior developers aren’t getting in their current jobs. Even entry level student developer jobs are notoriously well compensated, and have access to an excess of perks—so on some level, those job qualities are a given. But professional growth programs aren’t as popular. It could mean that students are happy with the state of perks and compensation, but want to see employers ramp up growth opportunities.

4. U.S. students have unique job priorities.

Every country has the same exact top 5 job priorities—that is, except for the U.S. In the U.S., professional growth & learning takes a backseat to work-life balance.

Though the way that students define work-life balance is mixed, the U.S. emphasis on work-life balance may trace back to policy. For example, per national policy, U.S. employers aren’t required to offer any paid time off (PTO) to employees. On the flip side, all other countries in the survey (Canada, India, and the UK) offer 10+ days of mandated paid leave per year.

5. Almost all U.S. students want customizable schedules.

Above all, in the U.S., work-life balance boils down to one main factor: flexible hours (or, flextime). In fact, nearly 90% of U.S. students want flexible hours in their next job. It means they want to work in a more casual office environment, where they can vary their working hours within reason to suit their lifestyle.

And that’s likely part of a larger trend in the U.S. workforce. A 2016 report by Gallup showed that 51% of U.S. employees would leave their current job to gain flexible hours—but only 44% of U.S. employers offer it. So it’s no surprise that students make a point to seek it out.

Get in tune with student needs

How well do your recruiting strategies appeal to today’s student developer? Read the full report below:


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