Students’ Tops Goals Are Work-Life Balance, Security

New York — March 25

Global employer brand research firm Universum released its 2014 rankings of the employers students most want to work for. Based on a survey of more than 46,000 undergraduate students, the rankings reveal which employers are most attractive to today’s students and why.

Students’ top career goals are returning to pre-recession levels. As in recent years, students’ top career goal this year is to have work-life balance, followed by job security and being dedicated to a cause. While job security saw a sharp jump after the financial crisis and has been consistently important ever since, it is now slightly decreasing in importance. The relative importance of job security and being dedicated to a cause has returned to pre-recession levels, perhaps as a result of optimism about greater economic stability.

This year, the average student is considering more employers than any time in the past five years. Students’ open-mindedness toward employers could be driven by optimism about their job prospects; it could also simply be the result of encountering more employers on campus than ever before. This means good news for smaller, lesser-known employers who have a higher chance of being considered by students; however, it also means that competition among employers is fiercer than ever before.

Despite this increase in considered employers, students are also indicating a desire to stay at their first jobs longer than they did in the recent past. This year, between 47 and 64 percent of students (depending on their major) expect to stay five years or longer at their first job. In the last three years, the number of students expecting to stay longer than five years at their first job has increased by at least 6 percent across main fields of study.

The popularity of different industries varies for students across majors. For business students, consulting, auditing and financial firms are growing in popularity, while fashion and retail companies took small hits. The energy industry continues to grow in popularity among engineers, as well as operations and strategy consulting. Government agencies and military services are becoming less popular for engineers.

Who are this year’s top employers?

Top 10 Rankings – Business Students:

Google
Walt Disney Co.
Apple
EY (Ernst & Young)
J.P. Morgan
Deloitte
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Nike
Goldman Sachs
KPMG

Top 10 Rankings – Engineering Students:

Boeing
NASA
Google
Lockheed Martin Corp.
General Electric
ExxonMobil
Apple
Microsoft
Walt Disney Co.
Intel

Top 10 Rankings – Computer Science Students:
Google
Microsoft
Apple
Amazon
Facebook
Blizzard Entertainment
Sony
IBM
Walt Disney Co.
Intel

Top 10 Rankings – Natural Science Students:

National Institutes of Health
Mayo Clinic
Centers for Disease Control
American Cancer Society
Environmental Protection Agency
Google
Peace Corps
Walt Disney Co.
NASA
FBI

Top 10 Rankings – Humanities:

Walt Disney Co.
Google
U.S. Department of State
United Nations
Teach for America
FBI
Peace Corps
Apple
NBCUniversal
National Security Agency

Source: Universum