Best Employers For Business Students In 2020

What makes Google different? For one, the company’s impact is not measured in billions, but trillions.

Boasting a trillion-dollar market cap – and 83% growth from 2015-2018 – Google is known as the “Gateway to the Internet’ (and for good reason). Every hour, 227 million searches are made on its engine. That comes to nearly two trillion searches a year! Google may account for nearly 90% of all search engine traffic, but that’s just the beginning of its influence. Android powers 2.5 billion devices worldwide, with 1.5 billion users subscribing to Google’s Gmail service. Another 1.9 billion consumers visit Google’s YouTube site each month. Did you hear that nearly three million companies use Google to advertise? No wonder Google owns a 73% share of the ad search marketplace.

And just wait until they unveil their flying cars!


Google represents opportunity and stability, a chance to innovate and make a difference. Those are just a few reasons why business students again ranked Google as the #1 employer according to Universum Global’s annual “Most Attractive Employers in the United States,” which was revealed on July 30th.

Goldman Sachs employees conversing in the New York cafeteria

This year, 43,710 undergraduate and graduate students from 323 American colleges and universities completed the employer ranking survey. These students were divided into five distinct segments: Business, Engineering, Computer Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities and Liberal Arts. This year, 13,890 business students completed the survey, down from the 17,429 respondents who participated in the 2019 ranking. Conducted from October 2019 through April 2020, survey participants listed the five employers where they would most want to work. From there, employers were ranked by their overall share by Universum Global, a leading brand research firm with nearly 3,000 business and educational clients worldwide.

Overall, 19.27% of American survey respondents cited Google among their five ideal places to work. This was down 0.8 of a point from the previous year. Apple and Disney made up the slack, ranking 2nd and 3rd at 15.85% and 15.10% respectively. These percentages reflected a 2.16% and 3.24% increase in share over the previous year respectively. Amazon and Nike round out the Top 5, with the former seeing its share slip by 1.73%.


Bankers lost the most ground, at least in the Top 10. JP Morgan Chase, the 2019 runner-up to Google, tumbled to 6th due to a 3.29% drop in share among students. Goldman Sachs slipped by 2.81%, resulting in its rank falling from 5th to 9th. That said, the appeal of tech-oriented firms swelled in the 2020 survey. Netflix and Tesla, for example, each rose several spots to rank 7th and 8th. By the same token, Spotify climbed four spots to crack the Top 10.

This year’s biggest move? That belonged to ESPN. Unranked in 2019, ESPN jumped to 11th with 8.34% of survey respondents listing the sports broadcasting giant among their Top 5. Not to be overlooked, SpaceX vaulted 10 spots to #33. At the same time, Hospitality has certainly increased in value among business students. Marriott International (+11) and Hilton Worldwide (+12) made impressive moves – as did American Airlines (+13) and Lockheed Martin (+14).

That’s not to say there aren’t several employers who should be re-evaluating their branding and recruiting this week. Case in point: PwC. The professional services firm plunged 14 spots to 25th, courtesy of losing a 4.08% share among Business students – the largest of any company over the past year. Another services firm, KPMG, nosedived 22 spots to #37. However, this year’s biggest loser may be the MBB. McKinsey, Bain, and the Boston Consulting Group have long been regaled as the Big 3 – the standard-bearers in the consulting industry. Among Business students – at least in the Universum Global survey – they have lost a bit of their luster. McKinsey, for example, slumped from 21st to 34th, with BCG skidding 15 spots down to 39th. That is still better than Bain & Company’s fate, which slid out of the Top 50 altogether.


McKinsey at ROMBA 2019

Bain & Company wasn’t the only big name to miss the Top 50 cut. The 2020 Most Attractive Employers list saw seven companies to fall out of the top half, including Procter & Gamble, Bloomberg, Blackrock, Under Armour, Boeing, and Blackstone. At the same time, several respected brands remained in the bottom 50 of the 100 firms ranked by Universum Global. These companies include Salesforce, PepsiCo, Accenture, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Barclays.

Overall, Google ranked among the top choices for students across every discipline. The firm nabbed the highest percentage of votes among Computer Sciences students, followed by #2 (Humanities and Liberal Arts), #3 (Engineering), and #6 (Natural Sciences). Engineering students staked SpaceX and Tesla as their favorites while Humanities students picked the United Nations (1st) and Disney (3rd). After Google, the Computer Sciences rallied to Microsoft and Apple, while Natural Sciences leaned into the National Institutes of Health and the Mayo Clinic.

The Universum Global survey extended beyond employer preferences too. When Business students were asked to choose what was critical to them in an employer, they joined the Computer Sciences segment in making High Future Earnings their top criteria – a sharp contrast with Engineering (Innovation) and Inspiring Purpose (Humanities). Among Business respondents, the next highest priorities were (in order): Leaders Who Will Support My Development, Professional Training and Development, Secure Employment, and Encouraging Work-Life Balance. Inspiring Leadership and Competitive Base ranked at the bottom of the list for Business students.

As a whole, the Universum Global survey respondents listed Work-Life Balance and Job Security as their top career goals, with each cited by 59% and 54% of students respectively. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 shifted survey responses to an extent, with survey-takers placing a greater emphasis on Ethical Standards and Inspiring Leadership after March 16th.

Go to page 2 for the Top 50 ranking.

Go to page 3 for the Top 30 scores. 


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