Leading multinational companies located in Ireland are the employers of choice for third-level students across the country, according to research published today by leading employer branding specialists, Universum, part of IrishJobs.

The Most Attractive Employers Index Ireland 2022, which was conducted among 8,000+ students in Ireland across Business/Economics, IT, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Law, and Medicine, reveals that top multinationals in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors remain the most desired employers for Gen Z and Millennial students.

Tech Giants
Improving slightly on their rankings from last year, multinational tech giants GoogleMicrosoft and Apple all feature within the top five employers for Business/Economics, IT and Engineering students.

IT students rank them in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively, followed by Amazon and Intel in 4th and 5th place. Meanwhile, Intel has moved into 1st place as the top preference amongst Engineering students with Google ranked 2nd and Microsoft coming 3rd.

The main attributes that students associate with the top-performing tech multinationals is market success, a willingness to embrace new technologies and innovation.

Top 10 employers among IT students

Employer Rank 2022 Rank 2021
Google 1 1
Microsoft 2 2
Apple 3 3
Amazon 4 4
Intel 5 5
Facebook 6 6
IBM 7 8
Samsung 8 9
Dell Technologies 9 7
PayPal 10 13


Top 10 employers among Business/Economics students

Employer Rank 2022 Rank 2021
Google 1 1
Apple 2 2
KPMG 3 3
Microsoft 4 6
Deloitte 5 4
J.P. Morgan 6 10
Amazon 7 7
Facebook 8 9
PwC 9 5
Ernst & Young 10 8


Top 10 employers among Engineering students

Employer Rank 2022 Rank 2021
Intel 1 4
Google 2 1
Microsoft 3 7
Apple 4 6
Pfizer 5 2
Boston Scientific 6 3
Jacobs Engineering 7 5
Johnson & Johnson 8 8
Aer Lingus 9 11
Stryker 10 10


Airline resurgence
Bouncing back from last year’s rankings, Irish airlines Aer Lingus and Ryanair have enjoyed a resurgence in 2022 following the lifting of travel restrictions and a return to full flying capacity earlier this year. This is particularly apparent among Business/ Economics students, with Aer Lingus climbing to 12th position (up seven places) and Ryanair moving up the rankings by 11 places to come in at number 20.

For Engineering students, Aer Lingus has moved up two places to 9th place while Ryanair has moved up six places and now sits in 15th position.

Pharmaceutical giants
Although some have dropped slightly on the positions they held last year, many of the pharmaceutical and healthcare companies that enjoyed a surge in 2021 due to their high-profile engagement with the Covid-19 vaccine development effort, continue to perform strongly in the Index. Multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer continues to rank in first position among Natural Sciences students, while taking 5th place among Engineering students and moving up 14 places to 15th position among IT students.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific feature in 2nd and 3rd place respectively for students in the Natural Sciences sector, maintaining the rankings they held in last year’s Index, while the HSE has moved up one place to take 4th spot for students in this sector, followed by consumer goods employer Glanbia.

Top 10 employers among Natural Sciences students

Employer Rank 2022 Rank 2021
Pfizer 1 1
Johnson & Johnson 2 2
Boston Scientific 3 3
HSE 4 5
Glanbia 5 4
Google 6 8
Kerry Group 7 6
MSD 8 10
Dairygold 9 12
Regeneron 10 7

New entries & greatest employer gains
New entries to the Index in 2022 include homegrown Irish companies An Post and Irish Rail, which rank among all the student disciplines, as well as top international group, AXA Insurance. Meanwhile, the greatest gains in 2022 versus 2021 were for brewery manufacturer Heineken and ESB, both of which went up by 40 places among IT students.

Commenting on the research, Steve WardUK and Ireland Business DirectorUniversum said: “As the world of work continues to evolve and the competition to attract talent remains high, The Most Attractive Employers Index offers an important snapshot of the type of companies and attributes that current students and graduates are searching for in their future employer.

With renowned tech and pharmaceutical multinationals leading the way in this year’s Index, it’s clear that third-level students are keen to play their part in helping to shape the growing digital and scientific transformation that is underway across our economy and society, not only in Ireland, but across the globe.

Both science and technology played a vital role during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling people to work from home, businesses to continue functioning and healthcare to take place virtually, while also resulting in the development of a number of vaccines to help protect people during what was an extremely unsettling and uncertain period.

The success of tech leaders such as Google, Microsoft, Apple and Intel in the market, and their ability to embrace new technologies and drive innovation during this period, have emerged as key drivers for students in choosing these companies, something which should help to give an indication of the type of attributes graduates today are searching for in their future employer.

It’s also encouraging to see Irish companies continue to rank well among students in this year’s Index, with the emergence from the pandemic having a particularly positive impact on the Irish airline sector. It is also good to see longstanding homegrown companies An Post and Irish Rail enter the rankings for the first time.

Through the Index today we want to help employers who are looking to attract up-and-coming talent with an insight into student preferences so they can take this on board when planning their talent acquisition strategies. Every company, no matter what sector it operates in, can illustrate an ability and willingness to embrace new technologies and innovate to drive their company forward. The findings today show us that by demonstrating the role a company is playing in helping to shape and drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution that is now underway, employers will be better positioned to attract and retain talent into the future.”

By Jim O Brien/CEO

CEO and expert in transport and Mobile tech. A fan 20 years, mobile consultant, Nokia Mobile expert, Former Nokia/Microsoft VIP,Multiple forum tech supporter with worldwide top ranking,Working in the background on mobile technology, Weekly radio show, Featured on the RTE consumer show, Cavan TV and on TRT WORLD. Award winning Technology reviewer and blogger. Security and logisitcs Professional.