FMCG also tops the list of industries seen to have bright prospects. Other industries that enjoy student preference and complete the list of top 5 sectors of choice are Management Consulting (40%), Investment Banks (27%), Oil & Energy (23%) and Foreign Banks (23%).
Compared to the previous year, FMCG has seen the highest rise in preference and Management Consulting and Investment Banking have followed suit. Oil & Energy, Diversified Conglomerates and the Automobile Sector have entered the top 10, edging out Financial Institutions, Entertainment/ Media and Indian Banks which were previously on the top 10 list.
“A diversification of sectoral preference, coupled with a resurgence of sectors like management consulting and investment banking companies is symptomatic of greater optimism within the prospective talent pool. However, there is still a ‘flight to stability’ with sectors and employers that are seen to offer greater resilience during downturns gaining greater preference” said Surekha Poddar, Executive Director, The Nielsen Company.
In its eleventh year, the Nielsen Campus Track B-School Survey gauges students’ perceptions of companies and their considerations as they evaluate prospective employers. 860 soon-to-be graduates from 30 of India’s leading management institutes were interviewed.
According to the Nielsen study, Google has moved up from the 2nd position last year to emerge as the employer with the strongest image; TAS, HUL and P&G follow with minimal difference between them. Last year’s topper McKinsey has moved to 5th place in the current year.
Drivers of choice
Among various factors that were cited by students for driving their decision to choose a company, growth prospects and the degree of independence take marginal precedence over the salary offered. The job content, market standing of the company and the perceived opportunity to learn from top talent are also critical dimensions for students evaluating future employers.
“A company’s size and strength in its domain along with a perceived boost to social status/ market value are seen to be aspects that, while not directly stated among the top factors work at a subliminal level to improve a company’s overall image and the preference for it,’ said Poddar.
The average salary expected by students from their “dream company” has increased by INR 1 lakh, to INR 16 lakh this year. The average salary expectation for overseas placements is INR 29 lakh.
“This year, the proportion of students expecting an offer of less than INR 10 lakh has seen a significant decline indicating stronger confidence in the economy and a more buoyant job market,’ said Poddar.
According to the Nielsen survey, students rely most on their own experiences (summer training) or experiences from their seniors to be the most credible sources of information about a company followed by the pre-placement talk. Among the on-campus activities undertaken by companies, the ones most appreciated by students are case study presentations (69%), interactive sessions with key industry personalities (57%) followed by guest lectures (51%). Awards, contests and sponsorships have lesser appeal.
More than 2/3rd students plan to move out of their first job within four years. Better career options, better position/designation and higher pay are the main reasons for moving out of the first job.