Global tech giants and accountants dominate students’ list of ideal employers, with Google and Apple ranked as the best places to work.

The largest and most high-profile tech as well as financial and professional services companies continue to pull in millennials, according to rankings produced by branding agency Universum.

Universum surveyed nearly 300,000 business and engineering/IT students in the world’s largest economies: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the UK and the US.

Engineering/IT students are predictably more lured towards tech companies than their business counterparts, but the top ranked companies are largely consistent with the aspirations of students in previous years.

Image: Universum
Image: Universum

This said, millennials are starting to turn away from corporate giants that employ over a thousand people, in preference for medium (up to 500 employees) and large (up to a thousand employees) companies.

The survey also underlines the importance of social media for all corporations, which comes up as the primary source of information for students researching a prospective employer, over and above the employer’s website and face-to-face sources like careers fairs and presentations on campus.

Millennials’ desire for work/life balance is also reflected in the results, with students singling it out ahead of other career goals such as security, an international career or intellectual stimulation.

When it comes to motivation, there is a divide between the two groups of students: business students are primarily driven by a desire for high future earnings, whereas engineering/IT students crave a creative work environment and innovation.