Graduates rate training and development more highly than the salary they will be paid, a poll suggests.
Graduates are still much in demand among employers
Some 44% of respondents to the web poll for accountants Ernst and Young rated training opportunities most highly among potential first employers.
Only 18% of the 1,051 graduates who responded to the poll voted for salary and benefits as their top concern.
Some business leaders have said they have to run remedial classes for school leavers lacking basic skills.
And employers increasingly complain that even higher education does not prepare students for the world of work.
Ernst and Young said the kind of people voting in the poll on its graduate web page were likely to be those who had studied accountancy degrees and who had some vocational experience.
Head of graduate recruitment at Ernst and Young Stephen Isherwood said: "Despite the many concerns students have when thinking about their future employer, it is still critically important for many of them that their new job offers them opportunities to learn, and to develop their own careers."
Salary and benefits, and work/life balance, came in second and third places respectively.
"Travel, secondments, variety of projects and a flexible approach to work are all vital to graduates searching for that all-important first job," Mr Isherwood said.
"Often these are as important as the desire for that first pay cheque."
Placed fourth in the importance stakes in the poll was the reputation of a business at 12%; people and culture came fifth on 8%.
Another recent survey suggested there was no sign of a reduction in the demand for graduates from employers.
There is also plenty of competition for jobs, with an average of 30 applicants for each graduate vacancy, according to the survey.
But while the number of graduate jobs available has continued to expand, pay appears to be stalling.