Audit and assurance, tax and consulting services provider PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) emerged as the most popular employer among university students and graduates in Malaysia. (pix by KHAIRUL AZHAR AHMAD)

KUALA LUMPUR: Audit and assurance, tax and consulting services provider PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) emerged as the most popular employer among university students and graduates in Malaysia.

This was based on the latest Malaysia's 100 Leading Graduate Employer survey.

Feted at the Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers Awards Night 2017 held last night, PwC was followed closely by first runner-up Ernst & Young and second runner-up Maybank.

According to organiser GTI Media Sdn Bhd, the Malaysia’s 100 ranking was formed by responses from 29,659 respondents from various universities across the country from the start of the year up till September.

Through what is termed as the Malaysia Graduate Barometer, respondents selected from a list of over 200 employers in various career sectors that most interest them, before they considered and selected the employers of their choice.

They also provided information on factors of employment attractiveness such as expected income for first jobs, desired working hours, preferred region for relocation and important employer characteristics.

“The award is a privilege and recognition to recognise the nation and leading companies in the country towards shaping the our future leaders that await Malaysia in the years to come," said GTI Media managing director Isaac Hee.

Among the key findings of the 2017 survey is that the most important factors named by graduates when choosing an employer are career prospects, training and development, and leadership style. The least important factors, meanwhile, are a high starting salary, status and prestige and an attractive location.

Respondents are prepared to spend 8.6 hours working per day in their first job and expect a salary of RM2,712 in their first professional position, a decrease from last year's RM2,827.

Deputy Minister of Higher Education Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching who graced the occasion said the Malaysia's 100 Leading Graduate Employer survey is a commendable initiative as it is able to provide a list of outstanding graduate employers in Malaysia, across 18 key sectors, as chosen by the future workforce of the country.

“It is a platform that enables both parties to bridge the gap between student expectations and what employers can really offer," she said.

PwC Employer Branding & Talent Acquisition lead Sherriza Nor Rashidi said the company was greatly honoured to be selected top choice employer among graduates.

"We will continue to do what we do (to do very well) and get support from everyone, including the recruiters. We hope we can win this again next year,” she said.

Sherriza also said winning the award was important to the company because they want to know if they do it right and meet the expectations from the students.

With roots in the UK, the Malaysia’s 100 Leading Graduate Employers survey is the largest and longest-running graduate careers survey in Malaysia, with the 2017 Awards Night being the 10th edition of the event, GTI Media Sdn Bhd,

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