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Swiss banks no longer attractive enough

Swiss banks no longer attractive enough

switzerlandThe study reveals a paradigm shift: the Management & Strategy Consulting industry is voted the top industry for the first time, over the all-time favorite Banking sector. The finding is based on over 10,000 students who took part in Universum‘s survey, probably the largest  in the country, and answered questions about their career preferences, i.e.  popular employers, industries, career goals, etc.

Now which employers are seen as attractive?

Among business students, the top-ranked employers are Nestlé and Google, both of which could defend their top position from 2012 effortlessly. UBS and Credit Suisse once again appeared in the top five, but the percentage loss of the big banks – about 5 percent across the past year – is nevertheless significant.
“A key finding of our study is that international banks have lost attractiveness with students, compared to the accounting firms,” says Yves Schneuwly, Country Manager – Switzerland, Universum.

Of the winners in Professional Services, Ernst & Young made the biggest jump from 10th to 5th place. PwC also benefited from the sector’s popularity, achieving an excellent 7th place.

Surprise among engineering students

The future engineers selected ABB and Siemens for first and second place, as in 2012. The big surprise was SBB conquering the bronze position. In general, state-owned enterprises seem to be becoming increasingly attractive.

Schneuwly says: “We recorded a year-on-year increase in desire for job security and work-life balance. These are certainly attributes ascribed to federal and cantonal authorities. Former, as well as current, state-owned companies have modernized their outmoded image, not least due to digitization.”

However, the most popular industry for these respondents is still Energy. Axpo and Alpiq benefitted the most. This year’s “Highest Climbers” were Losinger and Georg Fischer, both of which improved their rankings by 20 places.

ICT industry as a talent magnet

The hype surrounding the telecommunications industry seems to continue among IT students: Swisscom increased by more than 2 percent of the votes and thus strengthened their 4th position. Google remained the most popular employer with approximately two-thirds of the votes. Zühlke Engineering came as a surprise, as the highest new entry in the rankings at position 27. Migros, Hilti and the Swiss Post joined the list of “Highest Climbers” 2013.

Scientists with old and new favourites

The winners in the natural sciences changed their positions over the past year only minimally: Novartis stays number one; Roche ranked second. CERN has taken the third position, sending Nestlé to the fourth place. The “highest climber” in the Natural Sciences category was UBS:  the major bank moved from position 21 to position 8. SRG and the ABB also succeeded in significantly improving their rankings.

Top 10 most attractive employers according to the opinion of 10’094 students (see 2012):

Business ranking
1. Nestlé (1)
2. Google (2)
3. UBS (4)
4. Credit Suisse (3)
5. Ernst & Young (10)
6. Swatch Group (5)
7. PwC (12)
8. McKinsey & Company (7)
9. L’Oréal (6)
10. Schweizerische Nationalbank (13)

Engineering ranking
1. ABB (1)
2. Siemens (2)
3. SBB CFF FFS (6)
4. Google (4)
5. Alstom (5)
6. CERN (3)
7. IBM (7)
8. Bombardier Transportation (10)
9. RUAG (8)
10. Nestlé (9)

Natural science ranking
1. Novartis (1)
2. Roche (2)
3. CERN (4)
4. Nestlé (3)
5. Google (5)
6. Bundesverwaltung (6)
7. Bayer (10)
8. UBS (21)
9. IBM (9)
10. Syngenta (7)

IT ranking
1. Google (1)
2. IBM (3)
3. Microsoft (2)
4. Swisscom (4)
5. CERN (5)
6. Oracle (10)
7. Cisco Systems (11)
8. SBB CFF FFS (18)
9. Logitech (6)
10. UBS (9)

Law ranking (first release)
The future lawyers’ favourites are a surprise, since only a total of 10 law firms made it into the top 50 employers. The remaining positions are filled by companies from other industries.

1. Bundesverwaltung
2. IKRK
3. Nestlé
4. Lenz & Staehelin
5. UBS
6. Schweizerische Nationalbank
7. Ernst & Young
8. Credit Suisse
9. Homburger
10. Baker & McKenzie 11. PwC
12. SwissLegal
13. Novartis
14. Pestalozzi Rechtsanwälte
15. SWISS
16. Bär & Karrer
17. Wenger Plattner
18. Raiffeisen
19. Schellenberg Wittmer
20. L’Oréal

Click here to see the top 100 ideal employers.

Overall, the Universum Swiss Student Survey 2013 revealed some significant developments:

1. State enterprises become more attractive

The rankings reveal that former and current state enterprises could improve, which can be attributed to the desire for job security (see #3). Traditional companies in industries such as Banking, Consulting and Auditing are also still very popular, mainly because they adapt to a changing consumer behaviour and are becoming more digital in many areas.

2. Desire for work-life balance

As the results show, the desire for work-life balance is still very high and has not been affected by economic events. Therefore, companies must understand what the term means to members of Gen Y if they want to recruit them.

3. Desire for job security continues to rise

The general desire for job security among students rose for the fourth year in a row. The more uncertain the economy is, the more important job security becomes, especially for future engineers. A glance at the employers’ rankings shows that less than 30 percent of students associate banks with job security.

4. Start-ups an option for only a few students

On a global level, a trend indicates that many students are interested in working independently or beginning their careers at start-up companies. However, in Switzerland, only 5 – 10 percent of respondents wish to either create something on their own or to enter a start-up. This is surprising, given that the Swiss start-up scene is quite strong.

5. Switzerland is a SME country

The question about the preferred size of the first employer shows that Switzerland is actually an SME country. 58 percent of students surveyed would like to start at an employer with more than 500 employees.