Engineers love IBM, non-engineers prefer Infosys to Wipro, TCS: Naukri survey

Engineers prefer IBM, while non-engineers prefer Infosys, according to a new poll by a group website.

The poll, conducted among 2000 college students and recent graduates registered on one of its job portals, found that a whopping 43.7% of engineering students/graduates chose IBM as their most preferred employer, beating out competition from others like Wipro Technologies, IBM India, HCL Technologies and TCS (Tata Consultancy Services.)

Infosys was close behind, with 43.1%, while TCS was third with 40.6% (see red chart below.)

The results are in line with those of a similar survey last year, where the first position among engineers had belonged to IBM, with over 35 per cent, while Infosys and TCS were in second place.

IBM is one of India’s top employers, with headcount estimates placing the U.S. multinational well ahead of the 100,000-mark. The company, however, does not reveal exact employee numbers on a per-country basis.

The survey shows that even as Infosys is losing some of its sheen in the stock market, the company has maintained appeal as a good place to start one’s career.

Among non-engineering graduates and students, Infosys was the top favorite with 41.4%, while Wipro followed close behind and IBM was a distant third with 33.14% (see blue chart below.)

Non-engineering graduates, such as BS in Computer Science and Mathematics, are frequently recruited by India’s IT services industry, though only on a much smaller scale compared to engineering graduates.

IBM, Infosys and TCS, all of which employ more than 100,000 (1 lakh) people in India, are among India’s biggest job creators. TCS, the biggest of the three in India, recently announced it had crossed the $10 billion annual revenue threshold.

Despite TCS’ increasing dominance of the industry, the company seems to be not as attractively perceived by prospective employees as Infosys and others are.

For example, Infosys beat TCS among both engineers and non-engineers. Among non-engineers, the margin was quite steep (see blue chart.) Even HCL technologies, the fifth biggest IT firm in India, was ahead of TCS in employee aspiration list among non-engineers.

Another interesting insight is that the place of Cognizant, the fastest-growing of the top three Indian IT services companies, is considerably below those of the others in the eyes of the students and fresh engineers and non-engineers.

The Chennai-based, US-listed company, which recently overtook Wipro to become the third biggest IT services exporter out of India, ranked 7th among engineers and 10th among non-engineers.

This is despite the fact that it has been one of the biggest recruiters in the IT space in India for the last two years. In several, if not most, quarters during the recession, it has recruited more people than bigger peers like Infosys.

It may be noted that Infosys is famous for its investment into facilities for training young recruits. The company runs what is billed as the world’s largest corporate education centre, spread over 337 acres in Mysore, India. The facility has 147 training rooms, 485 faculty rooms, 42 conference rooms, five assessment halls, an induction hall, a cyber café and two state-of-the-art libraries which can house over 140,000 books.

The Global Education Centre or GEC can train 14,000 new recruits at the same time. It is estimated that Infosys spends about Rs 2.5 lakh per employee on the 4-6 month training.

All new employees have to go through the training, which is considered a big professional qualification among young IT workers in India.

The firstnaukri survey also revealed that among non-IT engineers, the most sought-after job-destination was the Defence Research and Development Organization or DRDO, India’s primary weapons research organization.

DRDO, which develops missiles and other weapons, had the votes of 28.4% of non-IT engineers and was followed Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and National Thermal Power Corporation, India’s biggest power producer, and Indian Oil Corporation, India’s biggest oil company (see green chart.)

“Defence has emerged as a preferred sector among engineers from non –IT stream with most of them looking at DRDO as the first option. This shows a tilt towards working in government and PSU’s sectors have started getting traction,” said Deepali Singh, Business Head, Firstnaukri.

Not surprisingly, given India’s ‘family culture’, 23% of those in the poll said their biggest influence when deciding on their first job would be their family.

A higher number, 31%, however, considered the opinion of their college seniors as more valuable (see pie-chart on top.)

The survey also asked what was the key factor on which they based their decision of where to join for their first job.

Not surprisingly, 33% respondents ranked job profile in the company as their first choice. 27% were more concerned about the company’s brand name, while another 27% based their decision on possibilities of future upward mobility and promotions within the company.

Note: This story has been corrected once to interchange the numbers for engineers and non-engineers.