Oct 10, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Universum, the global research and consultancy firm, has just released data from a comprehensive survey which reveals where business and engineering students want to work. What did they find? 

The poll, of 228,910 students from the 12 countries with the highest GDPs in the world, found listed consumer goods companies, car manufacturers, and banks to be the most desirable places to work, along with the highly sought after consulting firms such as Ernst & Young (EY), The Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey

In the top ten were the usual suspects: Google, Goldman Sachs, EY, Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Apple, JP Morgan, McKinsey, and Microsoft. 

It was found that what matters most to business students is balancing lifestyle and personal time with a lucrative career. Fifty-three percent of respondents reported that they prized work-life balance in their work, 42 percent wanted security and stability, 36 percent wanted leadership roles, and 35 percent prioritized an international career. 

Claudia Tattanelli, the Global Director at Universum Global said, "Sometimes called Generation Impact, today's students want to make a difference and might perceive they cannot make as much of an impact in larger organizations like the Fortune 500s."

Meanwhile, Dustin Clinard, managing director of the Americas for Universum Global, spoke of an increasing trend for business students to seek employment in companies where the work, for them, has meaning, pointing to Google as an example. 

"MBA grads are placing an increasing amount of importance on companies that have an inspiring purpose," he said. "They do more than simply make money. They make money with a purpose of greater good to it. It’s harder to see that overarching motivation for the traditional players — the consulting firms and banks. It’s probably there, but being able to articulate what that higher good is is a challenge a lot of firms have."

“We anticipate that companies that link to a higher good will continue to rise in prominence relative to those who are struggling to articulate what that might be.”

Learn more about studying business. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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