Compensation Remains #1 Factor for Students Choosing New Jobs

Research from Universum shows students are focused on pay and training/development above all other factors – prioritizing traditional career priorities in an uncertain global economy.

NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The 2023 World’s Most Attractive Employers (WMAE) rankings this year favors companies that offer high future earnings, competitive pay, and professional training and development. 

“The 2023 WMAE rankings showcase hard-won wins by traditional employer brands like JP Morgan and Mercedes Benz, both of which gained significant ground this year” says Yusuf Azoz, Chief Executive Officer, Universum.

Universum, the global leader in employer branding, surveyed over 172,000 students in business, engineering, and IT from the 9 largest economies between October 2022 to May 2023. The research found: 

Apple and Google retained top ranking spots in 2023. Business students choose Apple, Google and JP Morgan more than any other employer brand; engineering students favor Google, Microsoft and BMW Group; and IT students rank Google, Microsoft and Apple in their top three. 

Facebook continues its tumble – Ranked #35 for business students, #34 for engineering students, and #18 for IT students- down 6, 10, and 3 points respectively.

Tesla raced up the rankings in 2023. It appeared for the first time in the business student rankings at #38, scored #16 among engineers (up 10 points), and #19 for IT students (up 9 points). 

Flexible working and work-life balance are even more important in 2023 – a continuation of a multi-year rise for both of these key attractors. 

Universum Global Account Director Richard Mosley says the 2023 study offers a unique look at the real-life trade-offs students make when they choose their first employer: “Quality of life factors like flexible working and work-life balance are both priorities for young people, but students are willing to ‘trade’ these for other factors such as higher pay or good references.” 

To read about these issues and more, download a full-length copy of the World’s Most Attractive Employers report:

About Universum

Universum, part of the StepStone Group, is a global thought leader in employer branding. With over 30 years of experience, we field research in 60 markets globally, and have a physical presence in 20 countries. Our data-driven insights inform 1,700 clients worldwide, including many Fortune 500 companies, as well as global media partners that publish our annual rankings and trend reports. Find out more at

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