Google and NASA Beat Apple as the Ideal Employers for Undergraduate Students in the U.S.

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The Employer Branding firm Universum has just released its 2012 ranking of the IDEAL™ Employers for Undergraduates.

The official first-hand announcement happened during the employer branding conference, an event that gathered over 150 top executives within the HR and Marketing fields. Based on a survey of 59,643 undergraduate students, the rankings reveal the most attractive employers among undergraduates in specific fields of study, such as Business, Engineering, and IT (See Top 10 in each category below), as well as some interesting trends in the career goals of students.

Google on Top
Google once again took the top spot among business and IT majors, and also earned the number 5 spot in engineering. As an indication of Google's staggering front-runner status among IT students, the Mountain View company was chosen as a preferred employer by 49% of students in that field. Compare that with the top employer in engineering, NASA, which was picked by 17% in its respective field. (See below for Top 10 Employers in Business, Engineering, IT, Natural Sciences, Humanities-Liberal Arts-Education)

Big Banks Hold Strong
Despite the tumultuous financial market and not so favorable press that the banking industry has received, banks have maintained their appeal among business students. Why? "That can be attributed to the fact that banks are still associated with high future earnings," says Kortney Kutsop, Employer Branding Specialist at Universum. "That's really important to business students and they see that as something that the banks offer."

Top Career Goals: Work-Life Balance & Security
Continuing the trend of recent years, having work-life balance and a secure job were the top overall career goals among students. However, as work-life balance has become a hot-button issue in recruiting, a lot of questions have come up regarding what exactly work-life balance is.

To help clear things up, Universum analyzed what the term means to students. "This is a huge topic," says Kutsop. "For a lot of executives there is a negative perception of the term, thinking that the young generation just wants to work less." The results showed that the number one way that students define work-life balance is employers that demonstrate respect for employees. "For young people, it's all about working in an environment where they feel comfortable to express themselves and they know that they and there colleagues will be respected," says Kutsop.

Top 10—Business: 1. Google, 2. Apple, 3. Walt Disney Company, 4. Ernst & Young, 5. Deloitte, 6. J.P. Morgan, 7. Nike, 8. PwC, 9. Goldman Sachs, 10. KPMG LLP
Top 10—Engineering: 1. NASA, 2. Boeing, 3. Lockheed Martin Corporation, 4. Google, 5. General Electric, 6. Apple, 7. U.S. Department of Energy, 8. Exxon Mobil Corporation, 9. Walt Disney Company, 10. BMW
Top 10—IT: 1. Google, 2. Microsoft, 3. Apple, 4. Facebook, 5. IBM, 6. Amazon, 7. Intel, 8. Electronic Arts, 9. Walt Disney Company, 10. Sony
Top 10— Humanities/Liberal Arts/Education: 1. Walt Disney Company, 2. United Nations, 3. Teach for America, 4. Google, 5. U.S. Department of State, 6. Apple, 7. Peace Corps, 8. FBI, 9. Central Intelligence Agency, 10. American Cancer Society

Click here for complete list of 2012 Rankings:

Also – see Businessweek Article released today:
About Universum
Universum is an international company that specializes in the field of employer branding*. Founded in 1988, its goal was to improve communication between students and the employers who want to recruit them. Today, Universum's mission is to help employers excel in recruitment and retention by ensuring improvements to their employer brand. Universum delivers a full range of services in research, strategic consulting and communication solutions that enable employers to better understand, attract and retain current and future ideal employees. Universum is a trusted partner to 1,200 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, and co-operates with 1,500 universities worldwide to conduct research on the career and employer preferences of top talent. On an annual basis, the company surveys approximately 400,000 students and professionals worldwide. For more information, go to

*Employer branding is the strategy companies use to appeal to desired current and future ideal talent.

For the complete list of rankings, or to schedule an interview, please contact Jonas Barck jonas.barck(at)universumusa(dot)com or 858.405.5711

This press release was distributed through PR Web by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company listed above.

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Jonas Barck