Google is the "world's most attractive employer" based on a survey of 130,000 career seekers with an education in business or engineering, according to Universum, a consulting firm that focuses on employer branding.
Google retained its position for the second consecutive year, while rival Microsoft was rated the 7th most attractive employer.
Microsoft fell from No. 3 in last year's survey, but is still the second most attractive engineering firm. In the separate Universum ranking on engineering companies, Microsoft was second behind Google, with IBM, Sony, BMW, Intel, General Electric, Siemens, Procter & Gamble and Apple rounding out the top 10. Cisco was rated the 11th most attractive engineering employer. Other IT vendors making the engineering list include HP at No. 13, Dell at 22 and Oracle at 31.
The rankings were compiled from a survey of "nearly 130,000 students at top academic institutions," who "chose their ideal companies to work for." The survey was first conducted in 2009.
In the overall business ranking, Google is seeing a challenge from the "Big Four" auditing firms -- KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte -- who rounded out the top five.
The sixth-most attractive business to work for is Procter & Gamble. After Microsoft in 7th place, Coca-Cola, J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs round out the top 10.
Google, which just celebrated its 12th birthday, reports having 21,805 full-time employees as of June 30, after adding 2,000 employees in only six months.
Microsoft has about 89,000 employees, but has laid off 5,000 or so employees since 2009, perhaps suggesting one reason for Microsoft's drop from the No. 3 to the No. 7 ranking.
Apple, by way of comparison, has 34,000 employees. All three companies lag behind IBM, which employs nearly 400,000 people worldwide.
Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin
Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.