Hermès, Airbus, Thales…these companies that make students dream

Like every year, Universum interviewed tens of thousands of French students to find out their favorite employers.

The giants of the economy are always the ones who make French students dream. Comme chaque année, le suédois Universum (spécialiste dans le domaine de la marque employeur) a interrogé plusieurs dizaines de milliers d’étudiants français (plus the 31,600 exactement issus de 170 écoles et universités différentes) to work.

“In France, the ranking of student favorite employers, which we publish every year since 1999, has thus become one of the best barometers for evaluating a company’s ability to attract and inspire young graduates,” explains Julien Marchalant from, Global Account Director of Universum . Various rankings have been drawn up for this 2022 edition.

Thales doubles Google among engineers

In the business/management category Bac+4/+5 we find, as usual, the leaders in luxury with LVMH, keeping the first place for Hermes, making a remarkable entry in second place (the company was never in the Top5). Chanel closes the stage for L’Oreal and Apple.

“This shows the interest in luxury, in terms of attractiveness to the employer. The stage is made up of 100% luxury companies. We are also seeing an increase in the banking sector, which goes hand in hand with the desire to earn a good salary. Conversely, auditing and strategy consulting are somewhat less attractive. These are demanding sectors, while young people want a better balance in life,” explains our colleagues from echoesAurélie Robertet, France Director of Universum.

In the Bac+4/+5 engineers category, the podium of the most popular companies consists of Airbus (regularly in the lead), Thales and Google. Thales, which has the luxury of overtaking Google, has been holding on to third place for ten years and is also happy with this increase.

“Thales plans to recruit 11,000 people by 2022, including nearly 4,000 in France, a majority of whom will be young graduates. This recognition by the world of universities is good news,” commented Clément de Villepin, Director General Human Resources.

In this ranking, Dassault Aviation and Apple are in 4th and 5th place.

Rising salary expectations

On the IT side (computing, telecom, etc.) at Bac+4/+5, it’s not surprising that Google remains in first place ahead of Microsoft and Apple. We find Thales in 4th place for video game publisher Ubisoft.

In terms of ambitions, the conclusions of the study can be surprising. While it was thought that young people now demand more flexibility at work, more respect for their private lives or even more meaning, the prospect of a good salary or a high future income is at the forefront of Business/Management and IT students. Only the engineers put the ambition of the missions or even the atmosphere first.

Whether they are salespeople or engineers, they ultimately focus on the same top priorities.

“Students feel in a strong position again because they know that they are highly coveted by companies and even over-demanded by companies. So their salary expectations are rising accordingly: where they are usually more likely to progress from 1 or 2% in a year, they rise here by 5 to 6%, as if future talents want to make up for these 2 lost years,” said Universum.

These starting claims amount to 38,000 euros per year for business administration/management graduates, almost 39,000 euros per year for engineers and 40,600 euros per year for IT professionals.

Finally, a large majority of students (68%) want to work for a company founded in France with international activities (79%) and located in a large city (74%).

Olivier Chicheportiche Journalist BFM Business

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