Google is the number-one place college students want to work for the fifth year running -- here's what it's doing right

Scott Beale/Laughing SquidGoogle headquarters.

For the fifth year running, Google is the number-one company that college students from leading universities want to work for.

That’s according to new data from education software company Piazza, which surveyed 150,000 students from more than 600 schools in North America, including Stanford, Harvard, and MIT, about where they most wanted to work.

Getting a job at Google isn’t easy: It’s commonly said that it’s easier to get into Harvard than it is to get a job at Google. Indeed, the company is notorious for its intensive application process, putting applicants through several rigorous rounds of interviews as it tries to suss out the best of the best.

And yet, the top tech talent of the future wants to work at Google.

Here’s what Google is doing right, according to Piazza:


It presents a clear mission.

“Students have a very clear idea of what they will do at Google,” Piazza vice president of client relationships Sean Celli tells Business Insider. “They know the type of impact they will have. The mission of the organisation is a magnet brand for attracting talent.”


Its brand resonates with young people.

Google is twenty years old, but its brand still resonates with college students.

For years, the company has maintained its colourful, quirky branding that’s withstood the test of time and continued to attract prospective employees.

“It’s a challenge for other companies to compete with that,” said Celli. “Some of the older-world companies are not clearly defining their brands, and what we’re seeing is that a clear brand presence is really important when you want to interest people in working for you.”


Working for Google is more than just a job.

https://careers.google.com/stories/how-clennita-is-making-google-better-for-usersand-for-googlers/Google Sr. Program Manager, Product Strategy Clennita Justice

Today’s graduates are looking for careers that are both personally and professionally enriching, said Celli.

Google’s mission appeals to millennials, who tend to be more idealistic when it comes to picking out their career path, said Celli.

“What they’re focused on as a company really resonates with students,” said Celli.

This has proved especially true when it comes to deeply competitive industries like autonomous vehicles. With Uber, Tesla, and Google spinout Waymo all attempting to attract the same pool of talent, Piazza’s data shows that Waymo is still the top choice for engineering students with that specialty.

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