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Tech Talent Wants It All

By Universum on 04/06/2019

New York, June 4th, 2019 – Universum announces that the 2019 Student Rankings – USA Edition – will be published on Business Insider. The rankings available will be based on the overall feedback from 53,237 undergrad students who submitted their answers to the Universum Career Test available from October of 2018 until February 2019 via university partnerships. Feedback from these GenZ respondents include their opinions on their ideal employers and reasons as to why some employers are more appealing to them versus others.

With a strong representation of students from all fields of study, most notably Business, Engineering, and Computer Science, and a 77% increase in Ivy League participants, Universum’s report offers valuable insights into young talent’s employer attribute preferences, compensation expectations, career aspirations, and more.  Findings from this data allow employers to understand in which ways they’re succeeding in graduate recruitment and retention, where they have room for improvement, and how to progress proactively.

They want it all 

Tech talent in the US wants secure employment with work-life balance, high future earnings, and professional training and development. They want it all.

Employees and industry experts in the tech space can validate that long hours are expected, especially in the start-up space. This is not letting undergrad students deviate from what’s their highest priority: work-life balance.

Out of the 5,175 computer science undergrads who took part in this study, 58% of them said work-life balance was the most important career goal. The leading employer on this category, according to tech undergrads is (ironically enough) not a start-up. Target got the most votes from tech undergrads in the work-life balance category. The employer second most associated with work-life balance was Salesforce, the cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco.

Money and professional development go hand in hand

Some employers argue that high salaries can retain most tech talent, but even though this is a priority, it is no longer the only reason for them to stay with an employer. Based on all 40 attributes listed as employer offerings, high future earnings and professional training and development were the No. 1 and No. 2 most selected attributes.

This year’s survey also shows that salary expectations for computer science students are much higher than those of business and engineering.

You don’t have to be a tech company to win them over

Even though many tech giants compete to recruit in the same pool of computer science graduates across the country, Google and Microsoft are the top 2 companies they want to work for, staying consistent with previous years. There is a mixed bag of employers coming from all various industries in this year’s Top 100. The usual suspects went up on the rankings this year: Tesla, SpaceX, Spotify, Netflix, and IBM. However, interesting non-tech employers have gained some talent over, such as: the CIA, the NSA, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs.


USA 2019 Computer Science Rankings Top 5:
  1. Google (Rank #1 in 2018)
  2. Microsoft (Rank #2 in 2018)
  3. Apple (Rank #4 in 2018)
  4. Amazon (Rank #3 in 2018)
  5. Facebook (Rank #5 in 2018)


Click here to download the full ranking and find out more about the most current career goals and preferences of US talent


About Universum 

Universum, part of the StepStone Group, is a global thought leader in Employer Branding. With 30 years of valuable experience in the field of employer branding, we have established ourselves in 60 markets globally, and our diverse workforce is physically present in 20 countries. We are uniquely positioned through our talent surveys to deliver key insights to recruiters about what future talent is looking for in a company. Our data-led, human and meaningful output has attracted 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