Obviously, Google, which has ranked first in Universum Global’s poll for the past four years, is the great hope for business majors (even if Google’s appeal slipped 1.16 percent in 2015). What’s more, the Walt Disney Company and Apple are clear runner-ups, ranking second and third respectively for the past three years (with the companies flipping spots in 2012).
So what makes these companies so appealing? On Glassdoor, for example, recent Disney interns touted “hands-on experience,” “great training,” and the “ability to work on projects that make a difference.” Even more, a stint at Disney potentially opens doors, with one intern noting that, “I’ve gotten so many questions in previous interviews about my time at Disney.” Similarly, another intern summed up his Apple experience this way on Glassdoor: “Freedom, flexibility, good office culture, high pay, personal growth.” Even more, Apple left interns better than they found them, giving them important work according to another reviewer. “As an intern I had the opportunity to work on projects I did not think I would be permitted to anywhere else,” the former intern writes. “The trust that was placed in me as an intern to execute on a critical project definitely allowed me to grow immensely through the experience.”
Surprisingly, survey respondents have remained relatively consistent over the past four years. In fact, six companies – J.P. Morgan, Nike, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) — have all ranked in the top 10 in each of the past ten years.
PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS ARE INCREASINGLY POPULAR
According to a 2015 GAO Report, it takes at least 170 days to terminate a Federal employee for poor performance. With business students more security-conscious than ever, that might be one explanation for the rising popularity of Federal jobs.
Let’s start with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which rose five spots to tenth in 2015. So why would business majors aspire to be the next Eliot Ness or Donnie Brasco? Even with a gun and a badge, isn’t the job a bit hazardous (and all-consuming)? And who in their right mind would subject themselves to the FBI’s rigorous physical testing? Apparently, over seven percent of business students are intent on doing just that. And many of the skills that the FBI seeks, such as communication, case building, and financial acumen, are applicable to both the field and office roles like management, accounting, records management, and human resources.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) also climbed five spots in 2015 to 21st. Other Federal agencies that made Universum Global’s top 100 include: the U.S. State Department (22nd), U.S. Treasury Department (35th – down 11 spots), NASA (45th – up 24 spots), National Security Agency (52nd – up 24 spots), Environment Protection Agency (58th), the National Institutes of Health (61st – up 17 spots), the U.S. Air Force (73rd), U.S. Department of Energy (82nd – up 10 spots), U.S. Army (87th), and the U.S. Navy (93rd). Two agencies plagued by scandal in 2014 – the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs plunged 28 and 13 spots respectively to 84th and 96th.
Aside from the public sector, business students were also drawn heavily to technology (Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook), finance (J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo), services (Ernst & Young, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG), and hospitality (Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and MGM). However, students are increasingly interested in online and brick-and-mortar retail (Amazon, Nordstrom, H&M, Target, and Under Armour) too.
KPMG TAKES MAJOR NOSEDIVE AS NIKE AND STARBUCKS RISE
Rocked by scandals involving lax oversight and improper accounting practices in recent years, KPMG’s wrongs have seemingly caught up to them on campus. After ranking tenth from 2012-2014,KPMG dropped eight spots to 18th – replaced by less soiled brands like Coca-Cola, Amazon, and Starbucks. The same applies to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which paid a $16.65 billion dollar settlement for mortgage-related fraud last September. Once ranked 18th, the firm tumbled another 10 spots to 31st. McKinsey also fell 14 spots among business majors to 43rd. Overall, the appeal of financial and consulting firms dipped slightly among business students, with Deloitte, PwC, Morgan Stanley, and the Boston Consulting Group each sliding down a few spots.
However, Nike was the clear winner in 2015. Despite dominating the athletic footwear and apparel market for nearly 30 years, Nike remains relevant among students, with its inspiring message and continuous innovation in style and function. As a result, the swoosh climbed four spots to fourth, just behind Apple. Starbucks and H&M, which jumped eight and 12 spots to spots to 17th and 19th were other big winners. Sony (+12), the Peace Corps (+14), Coach (+12), Delta (+12), and Adidas (+18) also made impressive showings among top 50 firms.
Google was also popular among students majoring in engineering, liberal arts and computer sciences. Google ranked in the top five in each of these disciplines (including first among computer science students and second for engineering students). NASA remained the top choice for engineers, while Disney and the United Nations received the most votes from liberal majors. In the natural sciences, the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health finished first and second.
Continue to the next pages for the following:
- Top 25 Employers for Business Majors from 2012-2015
- Top 5 Employers for Engineering, Liberal Arts, Natural Sciences and Computer Sciences Students
- Top 100 Employers for Business Majors for 2015
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