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In Part 1, we examined the recruitment cycle and its relevance to students’ job search behaviors. In Part 2, we will take a closer look at students’ job search preferences. Read on to see what we have found from the Highered Student Analytics Dashboard


Finance, Marketing, and Sales jobs are in high demand

Among all the advertisements posted on the Highered platform in 2018, 20% are finance and accounting related positions, 12.6% are Marketing and communications related positions and 11.7% are Sales positions (see the graph below). IT related skills are increasingly valued. The results correspond to a recent survey by ManpowerGroup, where Sales, IT, and Finance & Accounting are listed among the top 10 in-demand roles.


Positions viewed by students follow the same ranking – from high to low are Finance & Accounting, Marketing & communications, Sales, IT/Tech, HR, Operations, Supply chain, and Strategy. As the line graph indicates, students showed a stronger interest in IT, Supply chain and Strategy positions as they actively are looking for related roles on the Highered platform. Roles demanding IT skills are on the rise. Strategy roles, though relatively low on the demand side are popular student searches on the Highered platform globally.


To stand out from hundreds of similar roles from other companies, we suggest companies to rework on job titles of E.g Finance & Accounting and Sales positions to make it easy for students to search for and to understand the specific role function.


Supply chain, strategy, and marketing positions attract applicants

While increase brand exposure and awareness among students and graduates is one goal for companies when posting job advertisements on job portals, attract relevant applications is more crucial. Within the top 8 sectors selected, we find that Supply chain, Strategy and Marketing positions enjoy the highest conversion rates.

A closer examination of all job advertisements across the 8 sectors reveals some interesting findings, specifically,


Finance and accounting:

  • Students are most likely to apply (avg. 34% conversion rate) when a job is from specialized banking and financial services companies or accounting firms.
  • Students are more engaged for specialized management trainee programs (avg. 26% conversion rate) from large and reputable corporations.

Marketing and Sales:

  • Students demonstrate a strong interest in working within the luxury goods market. For example, roles from two leading global luxury goods companies enjoy conversion rates of 33% and 41% respectively.

Human Resources:

  • Students who look for HR positions don’t have a specific preference to certain industry or company, but companies offering graduate trainee program receive more applications.


  • Positions combining IT skills and business knowledge get attention. Though users of the Highered platform primarily came from management and business schools in 2018, they show strong interest in adapting themselves to more digital roles.

Operations and Supply chain:

  • Due to the nature of these roles, positions in big MNCs with complex product portfolios and activities are most sought after with an avg. 31% conversion rates.


  • Big companies known for innovative and open cultures are popular among students. Avg. 33% conversion rate.


Highered is the strategic partner of EFMD, providing digital career services to over 500 schools globally to complement campus career service initiatives. To learn more about Highered, reach out to or visit us at