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Indian university students ranked high future earnings as No.1 career...

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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.

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 Rs 1,462,814, while business students expect a yearly of Rs 1,039,365, for MBA students the expectation is Rs 1,345,633. 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 Rs 1,282,323 compared to just Rs 1,023,450 for their female counterparts. This large (20 percent) gap in pay expectations suggests there is 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 percent, 2021: 24 percent).

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.

Mike Parsons, managing director APAC, Universum said that 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.

Other highlights in the survey show that more students (75 percent undergraduates and 85 percent 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.

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.

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.

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