Benefits and Compensation, Recruiting

Where Business and IT Students Want to Work

Business and IT students, those soon-to-be grads you seek, have employer preferences, and these preferences may surprise you.

Universum Global, a provider of employer branding solutions, has released its ninth annual list of the World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAE), along with other study findings. Results are based on responses from more than 290,000 business and IT/engineering students from the world’s 12 largest economies. Respondents are divided fairly evenly between business and IT/engineering students.
Among one of the most noteworthy findings: Students in both fields of study, 74 percent in total, say that they would prefer to work for a company with less than 1,000 employees. A larger proportion of students from Germany, France, and Brazil would prefer to work for macro employers; but overall, respondents in these markets also say they would prefer to work for companies with less than 1,000 employees.

Most Attractive to Business Students

Here are the World’s Most Attractive Employers, according to business students.

WMAE 2017: Business Ranking, Top 5

  1. Google (Non-mover since 2016)
  2. Goldman Sachs (4th in 2016)
  3. Apple (2nd in 2016)
  4. EY (Ernst & Young) (3rd in 2016)
  5. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) (Non-mover since 2016)

The three preferred industries across the 2017 Top 50 WMAE, according to business students, are management and strategy consulting, banking, and financial services, whereas in 2016, banks struggled to compete with tech firms for business talent.
This year’s Top 50 business list features industries that also include e-commerce, insurance, and logistics. Students’ increased interest in software and computer development caused banks, automotive, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) to decrease in rank this year.
Manufacturing firms in the FMCG category still dominate WMAE business results but many companies in the sector have declined in ranking, because students feel numerous brands don’t speak to them individually.

Most Attractive to IT Students

Here are the World’s Most Attractive Employers, according to engineering/IT students.

WMAE 2017: Engineering/IT Ranking, Top 5

  1. Google (Non-mover since 2016)
  2. Microsoft (Non-mover since 2016)
  3. Apple (Non-mover since 2016)
  4. General Electric (6th in 2016)
  5. BMW Group (4th in 2016)

The top three preferred industries among IT/engineering students are software, computer services, multimedia development and digital entertainment. With the exception of a few individual companies, the automotive industry has become a less preferred industry for these students.

Top Three Student Preferences

Regardless of industry, employers should take note of these Universum findings.
The top three preferences of business students are:

  • High future earnings
  • A creative and dynamic work environment
  • Leaders who will support their development

The top three preferences of IT/engineering students are:

  • A creative and dynamic work environment
  • Innovation
  • High future earnings

About Employer Brand

Additionally, among Universum’s findings are several that speak to employer brand.

  • Employer attributes students desire are fairly similar, regardless of their location. However, there are enough deviations to call for localization. Companies that localize their message create employer brand stories that resonate best.
  • Social media continues to be the place most students turn to in order to communicate and understand potential employers, but it is not the only one with return. Employer websites rank almost as high as a communication channel.
  • Globally, there’s significant interest in work/life balance from talent. In fact, it is at the top of students’ career goals.

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