The civil service was the most attractive career path for men and women. The number was higher for female students (36 percent), but government work also came in first among men with 23 percent choosing it as their preferred career path, in the survey by professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY).
No love for banks
Other future positions popular with students were in the fields of science (19 percent) and culture (17 percent).
Consultants and auditors were the private sector jobs most interesting for students in Germany (15 percent), followed by the automotive industry (14 percent).
But the financial industry had a particularly bad reputation with students. Just six percent said they wanted to work there, despite average starting salaries of €42,700.
Public sector workers on average make €30,300 at the beginning of their careers.
In making career decisions, students were most concerned with job security and pay followed by combining family and work.
Nearly all students (86 percent) expected to find a good job quickly after graduating.
Foreign students want to leave
Students with excellent grades were more likely to look for a career in the private sector, FAZ newspaper said about the survey on Wednesday.
And six in ten non-German students said they would leave the country after graduation.
"Many students are under pressure when they finish their studies with the expiring visa breathing down their neck," Ana-Cristina Grohnert, a partner at EY, told FAZ.
Role model Merkel
Students most often cited their parents as role models in the study. Twelve percent named their fathers, 10 percent their mothers and seven percent named both as role models.
Among people in public life, four percent said they wanted to emulate Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by the late Nelson Mandela and Microsoft founder Bill Gates (both two percent).
One percent of students considered Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, President Joachim Gauck, Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg or legendary investor Warren Buffet as a model.
EY polled 4,300 German university students in spring of this year for the study.
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