PwC the Employer of Choice for US Students

Date: 15-08-2007
Source: The Accountant

PricewaterhouseCoopers US (PwC) is the employer of choice for undergraduate business students, according to a Universum survey.

The poll of 18,591 business students revealed that Google is the second most popular employer, while KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte all made it into the top ten. PwC has held the top spot since 2004, except for last year when Walt Disney took the honour.

Universum, an employer branding specialist, said PwC received 13.56 percent of the vote and Google received 13.41 percent. Google has come a long way since it first entered the list in 154th place (out of 187 top employers) in 2005. In 2006, it was the fourth most popular employer.

Financial services ranked as the industry of choice for business students, followed by auditing, accounting and taxation; advertising and public relations; entertainment, media and public relations; and investment banking.

Universum noted that undergraduate students, which it calls millennials, do not feel obligated to stay with one employer. Universum USA chief executive Claudia Tattanelli said: "The top organisations are facing the demands of this new generation. Millennials have more priorities, and, unlike previous generations, they will not stay at a job hoping for a promotion. With this group, job loyalty decreases when their needs aren't being met."

Attributes the students looked for in companies were high ethical standards (33 percent), followed by financial strength (31 percent), industry leadership (25 percent), attractive locations (24 percent) and market success (21 percent).

The Universum survey also asked questions regarding compensation elements, decision drivers and salary. A good annual base salary (78 percent) was ranked as the most important compensation element, followed by health insurance (55 percent), retirement plan (39 percent), tuition reimbursement (23 percent) and cost of living adjustment (20 percent). The most requested salary at their first job ranged from $40,000 to $49,000 and the requested salary five years after graduation ranged from $60,000 to $69,000. 

Students said compensation packages and work/life balance were the main consideration when deciding whether to accept or reject a job offer. This was followed by geographic location, company culture and a clear advancement path.