Where do Middle Eastern students want to work?

Microsoft and Google ads take on Apple
Microsoft and Google ads take on Apple

Just like many of their peers around the world, students in the Middle East want to work for Google.

A new survey by Universum, a research and consulting firm, shows that business and engineering students think Google, Microsoft and Apple are the three best places to work.

For business students, Google (GOOG) came in first place and Apple (AAPL) came in second.

"These two firms have in fact won the hearts and minds of Millennials globally as they really do meet all the prerequisites this generation is looking for in an employer," said Claudia Tattanelli, global director at Universum.

Related: Here's where Europe's grads want to work

Almost half of those surveyed listed an entrepreneurial and creative environment as a top career goal, followed by work-life balance. When an employer offers that, alongside opportunities for training, development and international exposure, they become even more attractive, said Tattanelli.

Engineering and IT students listed Google as their most desirable employer, followed by Microsof. (MSFT)

"We see a strong interest and ranking increases in firms that play in the technology [space] ... and are associated with being creative and leading innovation," said Tattanelli.

mideast attractive employers

This helped General Electric (GE) ascend the ranks and enter the top 10 list for engineering and IT students, she said.

Dubai-based developer, Emaar, is the only Middle Eastern company to sit in the top 10 list for both categories.

"Emaar has been a visible player and also very focused on building its reputation with graduates," said Tattanelli. "It has built a strong presence at all campuses and online to engage with Millennials."

Related: Where students in Asia most want to work

Meanwhile, oil giant Saudi Aramco was ranked in the tenth spot for engineering students.

The 2016 Universum rankings were based on a survey of more than 13,000 business, engineering and IT students -- most of them approaching graduation -- in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE.

Universum conducts similar student surveys in other regions, including Europe and Latin America.

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