Top Employers for Business and Engineering Students

Posted September 21, 2012 by

Petter Nylander of Universum CommunicationsWhich are the world’s best employers according to Universum’s 2012 survey of 144,000 business and engineering students from the world’s 12 largest economies?

In business, Google placed as the most attractive employer in the world for the fourth consecutive year. KPMG maintained its 2011 second place finish, while Procter & Gamble reached a new high as the third most attractive employer in the world in 2012. “The Google fever is still hot!” comments Universum’s CEO Petter Nylander. “Students are still attracted to Google’s relaxed and creative work environment, international atmosphere and innovative products. Google lets the students know that they offer great benefits that are hard for other companies to match.” In engineering, Google takes first place for the fourth consecutive year in a row. IBM and Microsoft nabbed second and third place, respectively. “The giants in the software industry are seen as great places for the launch of an engineering or IT career,” said Nylander. “They offer training, networking and future career possibilities.”

The rankings reveal dramatic trends:

  1. The automotive industry is becoming increasingly popular. Overall, companies within the automotive industry are climbing in the rankings. In fact, in engineering, seven of the top 50 World’s Most Attractive Employers are automotive companies. “The students are looking for companies with attractive products and services, which these companies clearly have,” says Nelly Riggenbach Hasler, Universum’s Managing Director for Europe. “Furthermore, they are global and represent strong brands.”
  2. Oil, gas and energy attracts engineering students. Several of the energy companies improved their rankings among engineers. General Electric rose up from 8th place to 6th. Shell also took a big leap by improving 5 positions since 2011, while Esso/ExxonMobil and BP both climbed in the rankings in 2012. “The oil and energy sector is viewed by students as an industry that is stable, financially strong, and offers very competitive compensation,” said Vicki Lynn, Senior Vice President for Client Talent Strategy and Employer Branding for the US. “They are also known for their people and culture, as many offer flexibility in the workplace.”
  3. Management consulting rise in the Business index. The management consulting firms like McKinsey & Company and The Boston Consulting Group are all climbing in attractiveness among business and engineering students. “Few other industries can match management consulting when it comes to the diversity of challenges and possibilities,” said Kortney Kutsop, Global Brand Advisor. “These top consulting firms are looking for candidates in many different fields—and building prestigious employer brands to attract top talent globally.”
  4. Students want an international career. Opportunities for international travel and relocation are seen as attractive among both business and engineering students. “In the US in particular we’re seeing a surge in interest around positions that offer foreign travel opportunities and interaction with international clients,” said Jonas Barck, Global Head of Commercial Partnerships. “Social media sites have very much so opened the world up to the millennial generation—and for that reason career-seekers are looking abroad for opportunities that will allow them so travel to new parts of the world early in their careers.”
  5. More social media outlets are being used to communicate with employers. 14% of all students visit online communities every hour and 57% visit social networking sites at least a couple of times per day—averaging 23 minutes spent on these sites per visit. 71% of students believe employers visit their personal profiles after students interact with these employers on online communities. “The realm of mobile employer branding is definitely in its infancy,” said Camille Kelly, Vice President of Employer Branding for the Americas. “We’re seeing students connecting to the internet more and more through their smart phones, and yet employers have been slow to develop mobile-friendly career content for job seekers. In the next few years, I expect there to be a shift towards more mobile employer branding.”

The top employers by category (last year’s rankings in parenthesis) were:


  1. Google (1)
  2. KPMG (2)
  3. Procter & Gamble (7)
  4. Microsoft (6)
  5. Deloitte (5)
  6. Ernst & Young (4)
  7. PricewaterhouseCoopers (3)
  8. J.P. Morgan (9)
  9. The Coca-Cola Company (12)
  10. Goldman Sachs (10)


  1. Google (1)
  2. IBM (2)
  3. Microsoft (3)
  4. BMW (4)
  5. Intel (5)
  6. General Electric (8)
  7. Siemens (9)
  8. Apple (7)
  9. Sony (6)
  10. Procter & Gamble (10)
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