Australian Graduates Want Employers Who Offer Secure Careers And Who Can Set Them Up For Higher Future Earnings

Both business and STEM talent in Australia see Google as the most ideal choice

SYDNEY, Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Universum, a global leader in talent data and insights, shared the findings from the Australia portion of its annual global talent survey. Having collected the opinions of over 17,000 students from Australia's leading universities, the research sets out to track the career aspirations and preferences of Australia's future talent pool. The Australia study also recognizes the most coveted employers based solely on the responses collected.

This year, Google retained its position as the most ideal employer among business students. Followed by Apple, Commonwealth Bank, Deloitte, Government – Federal/Commonwealth, KPMG, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Qantas, EY (Ernst & Young) and Government – State.

The top 10 most attractive employers among engineering/IT students are Google, Microsoft, Apple, Government – Federal/Commonwealth, Amazon, Government – State, Qantas, CSIRO, BHP and Samsung.

What students want

To better understand their career priorities, respondents were asked about the types of employer attributes they are attracted to the most. It was revealed that students favour employers who they perceive to provide secure employment, the potential for high future earnings, and a friendly work environment. Most interesting, though, is that this year's survey showed students are strongly drawn towards employers who adopt an ethical culture and demonstrate respect for their people.

Jim Evans, senior consultant at Universum, said "Unsurprisingly, concerns resulting from the pandemic have made security a high priority for career seekers. It would, however, be remiss to believe that focusing communications primarily on this attribute would make an employer more attractive. What matters most to students in Australia is finding employers that offer the golden mix of security environment and development."

Overall students' top preferences



1.       Secure employment

2.       High future earnings

3.       A friendly work environment

4.       Ethical standards

5.       Clear path for advancement

1.       Secure employment

2.       High future earnings

3.       Clear path for advancement

4.       Professional training and development

5.       A friendly work environment


Salary expectations have increased

In the past year, Australia has experienced challenges, such as an economic downturn that led to an increase in the unemployment rate and the impact of the pandemic. However, the students in the country remain optimistic. When participants were asked to state the annual salary they expect upon graduation, the average expected annual salary is 90,271 AUD. The results also showed that the annual average salary expectations among business/commerce/management students had increased significantly.

Business/Commerce/Management Students

Engineering/IT Students




95 958 AUD


87 375 AUD


82 023 AUD


83 130 AUD


Universum 2021

Students' discipline

Ideal Employer Ranking 2021


1. Google

2. Apple

3. Commonwealth Bank

4. Deloitte

5. Government - Federal/Commonwealth


1. Google

2. Microsoft

3. Apple

4. Government - Federal/Commonwealth

5. Amazon


About the Universum 2021 Top 100 Ideal Employer Rankings – Australia Edition

The results are based on the answers of 17,160 students studying for degrees in business/commerce/management, engineering/IT, natural sciences, humanities/social sciences/education, law and health/medicine with 51,945 individual evaluations of 144 employers within each main field of study from December 2020 to June 2021. Each respondent is asked questions about their career preferences, expectations and employment related drivers and then presented with a list of 144 national and international employers, nominated by the target group through an independent and structured nomination and assessment process, which prevents companies unfairly influencing their positions. The rankings consist of those employers chosen most as an 'ideal' choice when working through a structured funnel-based methodology.

About Universum

Universum, part of the StepStone Group, is a global thought leader in Employer Branding. Universum has 32 years of peerless experience in the field of employer branding and is established in over 60 markets globally. Universum has a diverse workforce is physically present in 20 countries. With so much data, historically and geographically, Universum is uniquely positioned to deliver key insights to employers about how to attract and retain their future workforce. Our data-led, human and purposeful output has attracted over 1,700 clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, as well as global media partners that publish our annual rankings and trend reports. Find out more at

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