Google Reigns Supreme, Nonprofits Surge

To find out which employers have college students salivating, Universum USA surveyed more than 60,000 students and asked them to list their top five. Universum then tallied the winners and losers for five different fields of study and seven different personality types.

Universum did not designate an overall winner, but Google (GOOG) is still the overall favorite, as it has been for the four previous years, ranking among the top three for 10 of the 12 categories. But cracks are beginning to show in the Mountain View (Calif.) tech company's dominance of the ranking. Among natural sciences and humanities students, as well as career-minded students and idealists, Google fell in the rankings, ceding the No. 1 rank among idealists to Walt Disney (DIS).

For many years the perennial favorites with job-seeking college graduates, the Big Four accounting firms—Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers—lost significant ground this year. All four fell in the estimation of business students, and Ernst & Young fell among students in all five fields of study.

Government and nonprofit employers fared far better. Among the top 10 employers for each of the seven personality types, fully half were government agencies or nonprofit groups, with the CIA, FBI, Peace Corps, and Teach for America doing particularly well. The United Nations, unranked in 2010, was a top 10 employer for six of the seven personality types.

In the slides that follow, we present the top 50 employers for business students and note their ranks among the remaining 11 groups, as well as the number of spots they advanced or fell since last year. NR indicates the employer was not ranked; NC indicates no change in rank from the previous year. The personality types are based on students' responses to survey questions. Careerists are attracted to the employers they perceive as most prestigious. Entrepreneurs seek fast-growing employers with creative and dynamic work environments. Explorers want challenging work and a variety of assignments. Work-life balance is a priority for Harmonizers, while high salaries and future prospects matter most to Hunters. Idealists want employers with high ethical standards and a friendly work environment. Leaders are seeking opportunities to direct and manage teams.

For another view of the Universum data, take a look at our interactive graphic.

Note: Estimated annual pay is for entry-level hires with a college degree. But pay can vary by location and level of responsibility. Estimates were provided by the employers. Others are based on median pay for full-time workers with bachelor's degrees and less than five years of experience and were provided by employee compensation data company PayScale.com.
 
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