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Google, Microsoft & Apple Are The World’s Most Attractive Employers

Big tech, finance, and consulting firms dominate Universum’s latest ranking of the most attractive employers for business students

Fri Oct 8 2021


Google tops the list of the world’s most attractive employers for business students, according to a new report from employer branding expert Universum.

Joining Google in the top five are Microsoft, Apple, Deloitte, and L’Oréal Group. 

The report reveals how business school grads gravitate toward banking and consulting firms. 10 of the top-20 ranked companies are banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, along with consultancies such as McKinsey & Company and Deloitte.

Big tech firms are the most attractive

Each year, Universum surveys more than 200,000 business, engineering, and IT students across 10 major economies, asking where they’d most like to work after graduating, and what matters most to them in an employer.

One of the most striking insights from the report is business students’ soaring interest in tech companies.

Amazon in particular has rocketed through business students’ rankings in recent years, climbing from 26th in 2017, to sixth in 2021.

Meanwhile Google and Apple—the most attractive companies of 2021—have held sway among business students for years. Google has taken the number one spot for five consecutive years, with Apple and Microsoft battling it out among the top 10.

Not only do business grads want to work in the innovative work environments that these tech firms offer, but MBAs also have the ideal skills for fast-paced tech environments: strategic thinking, leadership, and data analysis.

Tech companies are also one of the biggest employers of MBA grads, according to research from the Graduate Management Research Council (GMAC). In 2020, tech companies hired more MBA grads than consulting and finance companies. 

At firms like Amazon, Google, and Apple, MBA grads are hired in a wide range of roles, including finance, product management, supply chain management, and marketing, adding to the attractiveness of these companies.

Multinationals remain popular

While technology and finance companies remain among most attractive for business graduates, Universum’s report also reveals a strong interest in multinational corporations.

Global brands like adidas, Nestlé, Unilever, and Nike fill out the top 40 alongside consulting and financial services firms.

The growing appeal of these multinationals is partly down to their development of new and innovative roles, in areas like tech and sustainability.

As companies place more focus on digital transformation and the environmental impact of their products and strategy, more business school talent will be needed to fill roles in these areas.

Considering that MBA skills like digital transformation, resilience, and versatility are now taught in the business school classroom, it’s no surprise grads are drawn to companies that value these abilities.

What business students look for in employers

Universum found business students are still attracted to companies where they can secure high earnings. However, what’s more interesting is the value that recent grads place on company culture.

Compared with last year, business students are now more attracted to companies that commit to employee development and that respect their people.

Business graduates in 2021 value friendly work environments and development opportunities more highly than they did in 2019, the report shows.

These findings are backed up by Harvard Business School research, which found that 86% of employees prefer working for companies that prioritize outcome over output.

Universum’s latest research proves that large companies are still the most attractive to business students, but to continue to attract the best business school talent, these organizations must keep salaries competitive, and place greater emphasis on culture.

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