Millennials prefer health care, tech jobs

Members of the millennial generation focused on college and careers believe their best chance at success is in health care and technology, according to new survey of high school and college students, and young professionals.

The National Society of High School Scholars, an Atlanta-based organization, asked more than 9,000 of its 830,000 members to pick the company where they’d most want to work, choosing from 200 on various Forbes lists.

Health care companies, among them Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which ranked No. 9, and tech businesses took many of the top spots. The respondents also expressed a strong interest in U.S. military careers and in working for U.S. government agencies.

“As for what they hope to find in the workplace, they ranked fair treatment, corporate social responsibility, and benefits the highest,” Susan Thurman, who directs the society’s scholarship program, said in releasing the survey. “They demonstrate a strong confidence about being able to enter the workforce quickly in their fields, demonstrating a strong optimism about their career expectations.”

The millennials, born between 1980 and 1999, place a priority on careers viewed as socially important and fulfilling and they are interested in rapidly changing technology, the survey showed.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis was the No. 1 company chosen. Rounding out the top 10 were Walt Disney Co (No. 2); local hospital (3); Google (4); Apple (5); FBI (6); CIA (7); Health Care Service Corp. (8); Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (9) and Microsoft (10). Respondents did not say specifically why they chose a particular company.

“We are thrilled that the millennial generation is really interested in making a difference in the world and in other people’s lives, and Children’s is the perfect place for them to do just that,” said Linda Matzigkeit, chief administration officer. “At Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, we strive very hard to be a great employer by making sure we meet all of our employees’ unique needs.”

Respondents also liked the idea of working at retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (16) and Starbucks (23), both popular among the generation.

Others in the top 25 include Mayo Clinic (11);. State Department (12); The New York Times (13); DreamWorks Animation (14); Sony (15); Abercrombie & Fitch (16); National Security Agency (17); U.S. Air Force (18); UnitedHealth Group (19); Amazon (20); Teach for America (21); Kaiser Permanente (22); Starbucks (23); Atlantic Health Service (24); U.S. Navy (25).

The good news is both health care and technology jobs are plentiful in many areas, including metro Atlanta. The top 10 jobs on this year’s U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2013 list are dominated by both fields: dentist, registered nurse, pharmacist, computer systems analyst, physician, database administrator, software developer, physical therapist, web developer and dental hygienist.

More information on the survey is available at http://www.nshss.org/docs/reports/nshss-career-survey-2013.pdf

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