Who are the Top 25 Employers, According to Generation Z?

Posted By Terri Williams on July 19, 2017 at 9:15 am
Who are the Top 25 Employers, According to Generation Z?

To our readers: Today GoodCall® reviews what’s happening in the job market. Earlier, Marisa Sanfilippo examined what the June jobs report means for college grads. Below, Terri Williams will answer the question of how Generation Z views the top 25 employers.


We think that we have a pretty good idea what millennials want in the workplace and in a career – although we could be wrong. However, Generation Z (high school students, college students, and recent college graduates), doesn’t necessarily follow in the footsteps of the generation that came before them – and it shows in their choices of their Top 25 employers.

The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) recently published its annual Career Interest Survey. This year, for the first time, the survey provides insight regarding the career aspirations of Generation Z.  Among these high-achieving survey respondents, 73% are in high school (and 41% of them are seniors), while 25% are college students, and 2% have graduated from college.

Top 25 employers for Generation Z

Given a choice, these are the Top 25 companies that survey participants would like to work for:

1 Google
2 St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
3 Local Hospital
4 Walt Disney Co.
6 Apple Inc.
8 3M
9 BuzzFeed
10 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
11 Amazon
12 Health Care Service Corp
13 Mayo Clinic
14 Microsoft
15 Nike
16 U.S. State Department
17 Universal Studios
18 Netflix
19 DreamWorks Animation SKG
20 CHG Healthcare Services
21 Instagram
22 Tesla Motors
23 The New York Times
24 Boeing
25 Atlantic Health Systems


The list goes beyond Top 25 employers to the Top 100 companies – other highly ranked organizations include Sony, Facebook, NSA, the U.S. Air Force, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Snapchat, Starbucks, Boston Scientific, Abercrombie & Fitch, Teach for America, Samsung, and Spotify.

Factors that shape Gen Z career choices

What do the Top 25 employers have in common? According to Barry Mirkin, director of marketing and digital strategy with NSHSS, “Most of the companies on the Top 100 list are large, with strong brand recognition, due, in part, to their ubiquitous online presence.”

He adds, “In general, these brands are perceived to have cultures of innovation, and positive community participation, two key drivers that play into young scholars’ early perceptions and values.”

The young scholars plan to work in these fields:

Sciences/technology/engineering 54%
Medicine/health 41%
Arts/media 26%
Business/corporate/finance 26%


“For high-achieving young scholars like NSHSS members, there continues to be strong academic orientation around health and STEM, with a desire to make a difference and do good in the world,” Mirkin explains.

The local hospital was ranked the 3rd top job, and the local police department was ranked 43rd, but these results are not surprising to Mirkin. “Caring about their local community is natural, given that most high-achieving students are involved in some form of regular community service.”

He notes that Gen Z’ers display a certain level of pragmatism. “According to this year’s survey, Gen Z’ers are researching and exploring online, all with an eye toward achieving their goals cost-effectively.”

Regarding the factors that were important when choosing an employer, the students responded as follows:

Men Women
Fair treatment of all employers 70% 84%
Gaining skills to advance my career 71% 72%
Basic benefits 62% 72%
Work/life balance 67% 70%


“Companies striving to attract and harness the talents of both Generation Z and millennials can benefit by understanding the factors influencing their educational plans, perceived employment needs, and career aspirations,” notes Mirkin. “Fairness for all employees regardless of ethnicity or gender is increasing in importance over salary, bonuses, or other financial measures.”

And as a result, Mirkin concludes, “Companies need to provide a culture of inclusion and the ability to spot and satisfy the priorities and needs of these highly educated, motivated individuals.”

When asked why they were qualified to work for their preferred employer, respondents identified the following factors:

Skills/abilities 60%
Personality 46%
Education level 36%


Also, 77% have or plan to participate in an internship, which is excellent news since less than half of college seniors feel “very prepared” for a career, and internships can provide real-world experience and boost confidence levels.

However, students should also realize that they’ll probably start out with an entry-level job, instead of the job of their dreams. “College grads should gauge a good entry-level job the same way they will gauge jobs further along in their careers,” according to Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster.

“Evaluate the job description as well as company culture – does it seem like a fit for your interests as well as abilities? Does it highlight your strengths? Will you enjoy it? Does the culture seem healthy?” And, a healthy culture is particularly important now that toxic work environments are on the rise.

Salemi also says, “Prior to the interview you need to assess and prioritize your interests and abilities so that when you’re interviewing, you can look to see if the opportunity is in alignment – pay attention, observe, and ask a lot of questions about the job itself.” Applicants should also be prepared to answer oddball job interview questions.

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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