This year's rankings by Universum also revealed changes in Gen Z's career aspirations, in view of the pandemic - with a friendly work environment and secure employment rated as their most important job aspects.

Google has once again taken the top spot as Singapore's top-most attractive employer, for local university students in business/commerce, IT and humanities/liberal arts/education. 

At the same time, the tech giant has come in second-most attractive among engineering/natural sciences students, just behind the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Universum's Talent Research 2021 has revealed.

Among all four groups of students, common favourites included Google, Apple, and Facebook, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and more, along with a range of banks and Ministries.

The top 20 ideal employers across each group of students are as follows:

Top 20 ideal employers among business/commerce students

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. J.P. Morgan
  4. DBS
  5. Walt Disney Company
  6. Singapore Airlines
  7. Shopee
  8. Goldman Sachs
  9. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  10. E Y (Ernst & Young)
  11. KPMG
  12. Deloitte
  13. Changi Airport Group
  14. Facebook
  15. Unilever
  16. Morgan Stanley
  17. L'Oréal Group
  18. Temasek Holdings
  19. Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  20. Amazon

Top 20 ideal employers among IT students

  1. Google
  2. Apple
  3. Microsoft
  4. Facebook
  5. Shopee
  6. Amazon
  7. DBS
  8. Government Technology Agency
  9. J.P. Morgan
  10. Grab
  11. Samsung
  12. Defence Science & Technology Agency
  13. Ubisoft
  14. Goldman Sachs
  15. Accenture
  16. IBM
  17. Walt Disney Company
  18. A*STAR
  19. Paypal
  20. Visa

Top 20 ideal employers among humanities/liberal arts/education students

  1. Google
  2. Ministry of Education (MOE)
  3. Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
  4. Walt Disney Company
  5. Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY)
  6. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  7. Apple
  8. Ministry of Health (MOH)
  9. Ministry of Home Affairs
  10. Ministry of Defence (MINDEF)
  11. Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
  12. IKEA
  13. Singapore Airlines
  14. Mediacorp
  15. Resorts World Sentosa (Universal Studios)
  16. Facebook
  17. Shopee
  18. Singapore Press Holdings
  19. Lucasfilm
  20. Changi Airport Group

Top 20 ideal employers among engineering/natural sciences students

  1. A*STAR
  2. Google
  3. Apple
  4.  GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  5. ST Engineering
  6. Microsoft
  7. Rolls-Royce
  8. Pfizer
  9. Singapore Airlines
  10. Dyson
  11. Defence Science & Technology Agency
  12. Johnson & Johnson
  13. Procter & Gamble (P&G)
  14. Ministry of Health (MOH)
  15. Changi Airport Group
  16. Ministry of Education (MOE)
  17. National Environment Agency (NEA)
  18. ExxonMobil
  19. Shopee
  20. Facebook

Gen Zs' most important job aspects today: a friendly work environment and secure employment

Apart from the above, the report also revealed changes in Gen Z's career aspirations, in view of the pandemic. When asked to rank the most important aspects in their future jobs, having a friendly work environment and secure employment came out as the top two job characteristics that the students were looking out for. Secure employment has gone up from the fifth position in 2020, to the second most important factor in 2021.

This, the survey noted, can be largely attributed to the uncertain economic outlook due to the pandemic, and the slew of retrenchments happening worldwide.

Other interesting findings include:

  • E-Commerce rose 7.4% to 33.5% this year, to place as the second-most preferred industry for business/commerce students.
  • While A*STAR is the most popular employer among engineering/natural sciences students, it has also gone up five positions among IT students to be placed 18th on the list. According to the survey, professional training and development is one of the attributes that saw a year-on-year increase in importance among the engineering/natural science students - and A*STAR has the highest association with professional training and development amongst the top five ranked employers.
  • Education, banking and e-commerce came in as the top three most preferred industries that students would want to work in after graduation., with the former two ranking as the top two most preferred industries among the university students, at 21% and 20% respectively.
  • 65% of students surveyed expressed an interest in remote working opportunities. Given the unprecedented challenges brought by the pandemic, the vast majority of students are open to flexible work options and remote working conditions.
  • 49% of students noted the possible isolation from co-workers and reduced social interactions as one of their key concerns, with 42% stating a possible employer bias for in-person workers and reduced earning potential came in as the third-most worrying factor.

About Universum's Talent Research 2021 

In this year's edition, Universum surveyed over 10,000 students from the six major universities in Singapore, namely the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore Management University, and Singapore University of Social Sciences between October 2020 to March 2021. A majority of the respondents are 20 to 23 years old.

The research focused on students’ views towards career preferences, expectations and employment related drivers.

Commenting on the findings, Mike Parsons, Managing DirectorAPAC, Universum, said: "This year’s survey results are a reflection of the mindsets of the students during the height of the first wave of COVID-19. Despite the global pandemic, Singapore’s future workforce is still pursuing their dreams to the best of their abilities, however many of their priorities and expectations have evolved.

"This year’s study suggests that employers will need to find a balance between offering attractive remote working options but without creating too much anxiety through isolating young talent in the early years of their career."

Photo / 123RF 

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