Google, Microsoft SA and MTN were the only technology companies named in the latest rankings of South African employers in 2012 as voted by tertiary students, MBAs and professionals.

The 2011 – 2012 Universum research cycle of IDEAL Employers polled over 16 900 tertiary students from all 23 accredited tertiary institutions and over 9 100 professionals.

Universum has been conducting this type of research globally for over 20 years and in South Africa for eight years with the purpose to improve the communications between students, career services and employers.

Every year the annual rankings and associated trend reports are important indicators of employment trends, young people’s expectations for the future, as well as the current skills gap within the South African job sector.

Universum South Africa MD Ulrik Simonsson comments: “Youth unemployment is one of the greatest problems in South Africa at the moment, and yet there are still a huge number of vacancies at many companies. Universum assists companies in attracting and retaining the best talent for their companies, by researching the career expectations and preferences of their potential future employees and helping companies to define and refine their employer brands.”

Awards are given to the companies ranked the highest in the three different surveys – student, professionals, and MBAs. Students and professionals vote for employers in terms of the following four broad areas of study: business/commerce students; engineering/technology students; health care/health sciences/sciences students; humanities/liberal arts/law students.

South African students named their ideal employers in the various fields as follows:

* Business/commerce/management – KPMG; Coca-Cola South Africa; South African Revenue Service; Deloitte; South African Reserve Bank; PricewaterhouseCoopers; South African Breweries (SAB); Eskom; Investec; and Ernst & Young.

* Engineering/technology – Eskom; Sasol; Transnet; Google; Anglo American; Anglo Platinum; Murray & Roberts; Microsoft South Africa; BMW South Africa; and BHP Billiton.

* Health Care/health Sciences/sciences – Department. of Health; CSIR; Sasol; Medi-Clinic Southern Africa; Department of Science & Technology; Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries; National Health Laboratory Service; Department of Environmental Affairs & Tourism; Google; and Pfizer Laboratories.

South African professionals named their ideal employers in the various fields as follows:

* Business/commerce/management – Investec; Google; South African Breweries; BMW South Africa; Woolworths; Allan Gray; Coca-Cola South Africa; Rand Merchant Bank; Mercedes-Benz South Africa; and Discovery.

* Engineering/technology – Sasol; Eskom; BHP Billiton; CSIR; Aurecon; Anglo American; South African Breweries; Hatch South Africa; Google; and BMW South Africa.

* Sciences – CSIR; BHP Billiton; Anglo American; Sasol; DST; Rio Tinto Group; Woolworths; Kumba Iron Ore; and Google / South African Breweries.

South African MBAs named their ideal employers as follows: South African Breweries (SAB); McKinsey & Company; Coca-Cola South Africa; Sasol; Google; BMW South Africa; MTN; Anglo American; World Bank; and Unilever.

“We are not surprised by the popularity of government departments and parastatals in the rankings this year,” says Jenali Skuse, research manager at Universum South Africa. “This is a trend we are seeing globally. Government is increasing as an IDEAL Employer all over the world with the students.”