These are the companies that students in South Africa most want to work for

The South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA) has published its list of the leading graduate employers for 2021.

Launched in 2010, the survey is conducted annually to help SAGEA members review the success of their graduate campaigns and help plan their future recruitment programmes.

The research took place between March to June 2021, attracting responses from 2,256 candidates.

“Each survey participant was asked to name up to two organisations whom they felt had the best graduate programme in specific sectors or industry groups with which they were familiar,” SAGEA said.

There were no lists of organisations to choose from and responses were entirely unprompted.

The group said that candidates were most likely to vote for specific organisations based on the programmes available, the training and development, the overall reputation of the organisation or the appeal of the brand.

Sector winners

In the accounting sector, PwC gained more than a third of the votes, while the ‘Big Four’ professional services firms gained more than three-quarters of the votes within this sector.

Commercial and retail banks attracted big interest, with Standard Bank receiving a quarter of the votes.

Sasol gained the most votes in both the chemical & pharmaceutical and engineering or industrial sectors, while Discovery was the top employer for both health and insurance.

Two organisations were the top employers in their sector for the first time this year: BCG within management consulting and the Auditor General in the public sector.

Below are the companies South African students selected across every major category.

Category Top Company Runners-up
Accountancy PwC Deloitte, EY
Automotive BMW Mercedes-Benz, Toyota
Charity or voluntary Gift of the Givers United Nations, Unicef
Chemical and pharmaceutical Sasol Aspen, Dischem
Commercial and retail banking Standard Bank First National Bank, Nedbank
Consulting (IT) Accenture Deloitte, EY
Consulting (Management) BCG Deloitte, Bain & Company
Engineering or industrial Sasol Zutari, Anglo American
Fast-moving consumer goods Unilever Tiger Brands, RCL Foods
Health Discovery Mediclinic, Department of Health
Insurance Discovery Old Mutual, Sanlam
Investment banking Investec Rand Merchant Bank, Allan Gray
IT hardware or software Microsoft Amazon, Huawei
Law Bowmans Webber Wentzel, ENSAfrica
Leisure Tsogo Sun Sun International, Tourvest
Manufacturing Tiger Brands Unilever, ABInBev
Media Media24 SABC, Multichoice
Mining and resources Anglo American Sasol, Exxaro
Public sector Auditor-General National Treasury, SARS
Retail Shoprite TFG, Mr Price Group
Telecommunications Vodacom MTN, Telkom
Transport or logistics Transnet Imperial Logistics, DHL
Utilities Eskom Sasol, Rand Water


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These are the companies that students in South Africa most want to work for