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The top employers in Asia this year

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Universum has found the ideal employers, according to top students across Asia, as well as the top career attribute: achieving a work-life balance.

Many reports have shed light onto the topic of whether a work-life balance is the top attribute Millennials in Asia are looking for an employer this year – as opposed to job stability or competitive pay.

However, do such preferences differ across different markets in Asia?

Apparently not much, at least according to Universum’s Top 100 Ideal Employers student survey. Collecting the views and preferences of over 1.3 million students worlwide, the survey recently identified the top companies Millennials would love to work for in the region, and their thoughts on what makes an ideal employer.

Here is a country-specific breakdown of the results:


Based on surveys done on 10,394 participants drawn from 161 universities, Google, followed by All Nippon Airways and Toyota Motor led the list for best workplaces for Millennials.

The ideal employers among business students includes:

  1. All Nippon Airways
  2. Google
  3. Itochu Corporation
  4. Mitsubishi Corporation
  5. Apple
  6. Japan Airlines
  7. Japan International Cooperation Agency
  8. Suntory
  9. Toyota Motors
  10. Shiseido

The ideal employers among engineering students included:

  1. Google
  2. Toyota Motors
  3. Sony
  4. Apple
  5. Suntry
  6. Ajinomoto
  7. All Nippon Airways
  8. Hitachi
  9. Shiseido
  10. Microsoft

The survey also explored career aspirations and found that having a ‘work-life balance’ was most valued by approximately 60% of participants, surpassing other aspirations such as having an international career and having security in their job.

ALSO READ: The hottest employers in Singapore this year


Domestic tech giants Alibaba and Huawei were the most attractive employers to Chinese business and engineering talent, respectively.

The ideal employers among business students included:

  1. Alibaba
  2. EY (Ernst & Young)
  3. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  4. Bank of China
  5. Huawei
  6. KPMG
  7. Citi
  8. Deloitte
  9. Apple
  10. Tencent

The ideal employers among engineering students included:

  1. Huawei
  2. Alibaba
  3. Tencent
  4. Google
  5. Apple
  6. Baidu
  7. Microsoft
  8. State Grid Corporation of China
  9. Siemens
  10. BMW Group

Regarding most important career goals after graduation, ‘work-life balance’ was also considered number one. However, despite being the most selected (49%), it was comparatively still a lot less selected than it was by others in the region.


Unilever remains the most ideal employer for business students, whilst Samsung overtakes the PetroVietnam Group to become the most sought after employer among young engineering talent.

The ideal employers among business students include:

  1. Unilever
  2. Google
  3. Vinamilk
  4. Samsung
  5. The Coca-Cola Company
  6. Vietnam Airlines
  7. AEON Group
  8. Lotte
  9. Vietcombank
  10. BIDV

The ideal employers among engineering students include:

  1. Samsung
  2. PetroVietnam Group
  3. FPT
  4. Viettel
  5. Vinamilk
  6. Google
  7. Toyota
  8. Petrolimex
  9. Microsoft
  10. Unilever

‘Work-life balance’ was one of the top priorities among Vietnamese students (45.9%)  Following that was ‘to be secure or stable in my job’, both of these staying in the same place from previous years.

An interesting change in the past few years was the rise of the career goal ‘to be a leader or manager of people’, which jumped three places from seventh to fourth among engineering talent, and from third to second among those studying business.


San Miguel Corporation and Google are the most the most attractive employers for Filipino business and engineering talent, respectively.

The ideal employers among business students include:

  1. Google
  2. Ayala Land
  3. Microsoft
  4. San Miguel Corporation
  5. Samsung
  6. Nestlé
  7. Ayala Corporation
  8. ABS-CBN Corporation
  9. Intel
  10. Shell

The ideal employers among engineering students included:

  1. San Miguel Corporation
  2. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
  3. Google
  4. Philippine Airlines
  5. Ayala Corporation
  6. ABS-CBN Corporation
  7. Nestlé
  8. Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  9. EY (SGV & Co.)
  10. P. Morgan

This was the first time the study had been run in the Phillippines, and when asked about their most important career goals upon graduation, after work-life balance’ being voted as their top priority (55%). ‘to be secure or stable in my job’ (49%) closely followed.


Domestic employers dominated as top business and engineering students consider Bank Indonesia and Pertamina as Indonesia’s most attractive employers, respectively.

The ideal employers among business students include:

  1. Bank Indonesia
  2. Kementerian Keuangan Republik Indonesia
  3. Pertamina
  4. Google
  5. Garuda Indonesia
  6. Kementerian Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia
  7. Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK)
  8. Unilever
  9. Kementerian Pariwisata & Ekonomi Kreatif
  10. NET Mediatama Indonesia

The ideal employers among engineering students include:

  1. Pertamina
  2. Chevron Indonesia
  3. Schlumberger
  4. Freeport Indonesia
  5. Unilever
  6. Google
  7. Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN)
  8. Garuda Indonesia
  9. PLN
  10. Total E&P

While the most important career goals amongst Indonesian students was common with other countries in the region, with 53% choosing to have work-life balance, the second on the list stands out.

Coming a close second to ‘work-life balance’ is the desire ‘to be entrepreneurial or creative/innovative’, an option not commonly selected.


Google took over popular local employers Thai Airways and PTT as the most ideal employer for Thai students.

The ideal employers among business students include:

  1. Google
  2. Thai Airways International
  3. PTT
  4. Stock Exchange of Thailand
  5. Siam Cement Group
  6. GMM Grammy
  7. Thai Air Asia
  8. LINE Corporation
  9. United Nations
  10. Microsoft

The ideal employers among engineering students include:

  1. Google
  2. PTT
  3. Chevron
  4. Siam Cement Group
  5. Microsoft
  6. EGAT
  7. Thai Airways International
  8. Toyota
  9. BMW Group
  10. Intel

At the most important career goal, achieving ‘work-life balance’ (42%) is a desire that’s now synonymous with the millennial generation as is represented by this survey. However, this desire is still a lot less strong in Thailand compared to other markets and is the lowest of all Southeast Asian markets surveyed.

Also, although still second overall, job security has fallen from first to second among engineering students and second to third among business students.

Image: 123RF 

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