Indian university students ranked high future earnings as No.1 career priority; EY (Ernst & Young) voted as most attractive place to work among business talent.
ChandraGarran04 8-09-2022, 13:15

NEW DELHI, Sept. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Universum launches the findings from the India portion of its annual global talent survey. Having collected responses from over 27,000 students from India's leading universities, the research sets out to track the career aspirations and preferences of India's future talent pool. The study also recognises the most coveted employers based solely on collected responses. This year, EY (Ernst & Young) has been ranked as the most attractive employer among business/commerce students, whereas Google has retained its position as the most desired employer among STEM talent and MBA students.

Salary expectations have increased

The salary expectation of engineering/IT students remains the highest among Indian students. The survey shows the annual salary expectation from STEM graduates upon graduation is 1,462,814 INR, while business students expect a yearly of 1,039,365 INR, for MBA students the expectation is 1,345,633 INR. With demand for IT talent surging, the gap in salary expectations could grow even further, increasing the challenge that both tech and non-tech employers face in attracting this segment.

In 2022, the expected salaries of male students were 1,282,323 INR compared to just 1,023,450 INR for their female counterparts. This large (20%) gap in pay expectations suggests there is a still a long way to go before we see pay parity among male and female graduates in India. Having said that, the gap has decreased slightly this year compared to the past two years (2020: 23%, 2021: 24%).

Top Career Aspirations & Goals

Out of the 40 employer attributes the study measures, Indian undergraduate students prioritise employers that provide "high future earnings", "a friendly work environment", and "good reference for future career". Trending upwards "professional training and development" and "secure employment" have risen to the 4th and 5th most important employer attributes, respectively.

"Top talent in India, like many of their regional peers, appear to be adapting rapidly to a new normal world of work, increasingly seeking out remote working arrangements and putting increasing emphasis on work-life balance. This means employers in India will need to not only figure out how they will adapt themselves but communicate those changes in a compelling and balanced way if they want to attract India's best and brightest" said Mike Parsons, managing director APAC, Universum.

Other highlights in the survey shows that more students (75% undergraduates and 85% MBA students) are interested in remote work arrangements than they were in the previous year. Concerns about feeling isolated and missing out on social connections with co-workers have somewhat dissipated, as have concerns around the impact on earning potential and being left out of important meetings and initiatives at work.

Universum 2022

Students' discipline

Ideal Employer Ranking 2022


1. EY (Ernst & Young)

2. Google

3. Apple

4. Amazon

5. Deloitte


1. Google

2. Microsoft

3. Apple

4. Amazon

5. Facebook


1. Google

2. Amazon

3. Apple

4. Microsoft

5. EY (Ernst & Young)

About the Universum Top 100 Ideal Employer Rankings 2022 – India Edition

The results are based on the answers of 26,683 students studying for degrees in business/commerce, engineering/IT, natural sciences, humanities/liberal arts/education, law and health/medicine and 730 MBA students, with 98,892 individual evaluations of 151-156 employers on average within each main field of study from October 2021 to June 2022. Each respondent is asked questions about their career preferences, expectations and employment related drivers and then presented with a list of 151-156 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 over 30 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 

Source: Universum Communications Pte. Ltd