Graduates’ Choice Award recognizes top graduate employer brands voted by undergraduates while revealing gender differences in preferred work industries and job attributes


Graduates’ Choice Award recognizes top graduate employer brands voted by undergraduates while revealing gender differences in preferred work industries and job attributes

KUALA LUMPUR: Over 24,000 undergraduates from public and private universities all over Malaysia have voted on their most attractive employer brands to work with from among 700 companies across 35 industries.

Maybank, Google, Microsoft Malaysia, Petroliam Nasional Berhad     , Shopee Malaysia, Intel Malaysia, CIMB, Shell Malaysia, Celcom Axiata Berhad and PwC Malaysia secured their positions as the Top 10 Most Attractive Graduate Employers To Work For in 2021.

Maybank was voted as the Best Employer Brand in the banking category, while British American Tobacco GBS & IDT secured top spot in the Tobacco category. EcoWorld Malaysia emerged as the winner in the Property Development category while McDonald’s Malaysia garnered the most number of votes in the Fast Food Chain category.

Into its third year, Graduates’ Choice Award (GCA) gave recognition to employer brands spanning across 26 industries, and covering a wide spectrum of disciplines, including accounting & professional service, automotive, e-commerce, electronics, fast moving consumer goods, government-linked companies, pharmaceutical, retail, tech and telecommunications.

Organized Talentbank, (an award-winning recruitment, market research, education & employer branding company) GCA is the Most Authoritative Campus Employer Branding Award that gives recognition to employers for their efforts and dedication in enhancing their employer branding in public and private universities in Malaysia.

GCA results were the culmination of votes obtained from university students over a 12-month period, from 1st September 2019 – 31st August 2020.  Of those who cast their votes, 52% per cent were female undergraduates while the remaining 48% per cent were from male voters. To ensure its legitimacy, the GCA results were reviewed by an audit board made up of career services practitioners from diverse universities.

Talentbank’s Founder, Ben Ho, shared: “Besides recognizing the commitments made by employers, the prestigious awards also act as a reference for fresh graduates to help them distinguish employers of great distinction in their respective industries when they apply for their first job after completing their studies.”

“The importance of a great employer brand image cannot be underestimated. It helps organizations to become a talent magnet and attract the right talents.”

“Besides getting undergraduates to vote, we also got them to complete a survey questionnaire which allowed us to gather information about their preferred industries, employer attributes, career goals and the expected starting salary of their first job.”

The survey listed banking and tech among the top 5 preferred industries for both male and female undergraduates, while there were also differences in the preferred industries (see table below).


Respondents’ Preferred Industries

      Male undergraduates     Female undergraduates
  1. Engineering
  2. Tech
  3. Banking
  4. Electronics
  5. Telecommunications
  1. Banking
  2. Education
  3. Accounting & Professional Services
  4. E-Commerce
  5. Tech


The survey findings also revealed that respondents placed work-life balance, getting a stable and secure jobdeveloping a career plancontributing to society and earning a professional certificate as their top priorities.

Ho said: “It is unsurprising that the survey findings revealed both male and female undergraduates value salary and bonuses most. Most undergraduates shared that they expected a starting salary of between RM 2,500 – RM 3,500 in their first job and a monthly internship allowance of RM 1,000. 96% of the respondents said they are willing to pay a maximum of RM 150.00 (4 Hours Lesson) to upskill themselves, so they can be paid with a higher salary.”

“However, male respondents chose career development as a second priority while female respondents looked for good bosses and leaders.”

Male and female respondents also placed different preference priorities when looking for their ideal employer, as shown in the table below:


Respondents’ employment preferences

    Male undergraduates     Female undergraduates
  1. Salary and bonuses
  2. Career development opportunities
  3. Learning and development opportunities
  4. Good bosses and leaders
  5. Good company culture
  1. Salary and bonuses
  2. Good bosses and leaders
  3. Learning and Development opportunities
  4. Career development opportunities
  5. Flexible working hours


The 4th edition of Graduates’ Choice Award is now open for voting from 1st September 2020 – 30th June 2021. All undergraduates and graduates with a valid student ID number are eligible to vote for their Top Employer Brands at


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