A possible exception lies in the rise of Huawei, the emerging global telecommunication equipment company. The rise of Huawei represents a milestone for China’s industrial development, and it clearly is a source of pride among Chinese. The "ideal" employer index reflects that. Chinese engineering students ranked Huawei ahead of Google and second only to Apple.
Lenovo was also high on their list. Chinese engineers I met in Beijing genuinely admire both Huawei and Lenovo as companies with technological prowess. Curiously, they don’t seem to think much of ZTE, China’s other telecom equipment giant. Some say that ZTE’s product quality isn’t up Huawei's while others simply don’t think much of ZTE.
The rankings also reveal the great leaps forward made by Baidu, China’s top search engine company, and Tencent (QQ), China’s largest instant messaging service provider. The latter made Chinese students' top 20 choices for the first time. This illustrates both the rapid growth of China's Internet industry and how Internet service companies there are adding fresh features and progressing at a breakneck pace.
In fact, the rate of progress in service offerings among Chinese Internet companies is something nearly every Chinese executive I met talks about to illustrate the potential of Chinese technology innovation.
At first, I didn't get it. It's because the plain fact is that government policy has discouraged the use of Western social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, leaving little room for U.S.-based Internet service companies to grow in China. Jian-Yue Pan, corporate vice president for the Asia Pacific region at Synopsys, disagreed. “None of the multinational Internet social sites including eBay, match.com and Amazon [none of which are banned] has succeeded in China thus far because they lack the speed in implementing changes.”
He added: “Chinese Internet service companies thrive on quick decisions. Based on the instantaneous feedback they get from their local users, local guys can make a change overnight. Meanwhile, for multinational Internet companies, it takes them three months."
Auto makers were also listed as favored employers by Chinese students, including Volkswagen Group (Audi and Porsche) and FAW Group, China's state-owned manufacturer of cars, buses, light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks and auto parts. The automobile has fast become a status symbol for China's growing middle class, and China's engineering grads view working for car makers as a good career move.
See Echo's comment "It's not easy to be recruited by China state's owned companies, unless you are children of politicians or likes."
Little surprise there. If you aren't the child of a fairly high ranking Party member or of an existing member of the industrial elite, you are unlikely to be noticed. Having the right connections can be important anywhere, but are likely critical in China.
An old friend was involved in international education, and said "Don't get me started on doing business with the Chinese." You had to grease palms, but you had to know not only whose palms to grease and how much, but the *order* in which to grease them. The Communist Revolution had little effect on the underlying cultural patterns, and the Chinese were still very much concerned with rank, status, and precedence. You had to understand and observe the local pecking order to do business, and what that was could be hard for an outsider to discern.
A fair bit of the current practices in China's economy can be understood as further enriching and keeping in power the existing elite, and many goodies will be reserved for members of the elite.
“I was struck by the openness of Chinese students. While China’s state-owned companies such as China Mobile, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), and PetroChina have a solid footing in the top 20 list, Chinese students are also eager to work for multinationals like Apple, Google, General Electric, Microsoft and Volkswagen. One could conclude that blandishments of capitalism are casting their spell.”
It's not easy to be recruited by China state's owned companies, unless you are children of politicians or likes.
The salary in SGCC maybe several times larger than in Apple or GE..
"For example, are the US grads finding a lot of jobs available at NASA? Is that why they chose it as their top pick? Probably not."
Agreed. Money is not the only motivator, and may not be most important. I want a salary comparable to my peers, but I want to do meaningful work I can take pride in. If get an offer from NASA, and an offer from a more pedestrian shop at a higher rate, the decision will probably be NASA in a heartbeat, because the NASA gig will be the kind where I'll love to go to work in the morning and hate to go home at night because I'm doing really cool stuff.
"So how's the gig at NASA?"
"I was lead designer on a major subsystem of the Curiosity rover. *My* work is currently exploring on *Mars!*"
Absolutely. Working with leading edge technologies is likely one of the key reasons. Similarly, in US, new graduates perceive NASA as cutting edge and they prefer it if there is job available. What more interesting to me is, like Junko said, why the same hypothesis not apply to new grads from Germany and Japan. It might worthwhile to understand the reason behind.
Agreed. And yet there are also aspirational aspects such a survey as this one often reveals. For example, are the US grads finding a lot of jobs available at NASA? Is that why they chose it as their top pick? Probably not.
There are many multinationals doing business in Japan, for example. I just found it curious none of those multinationals made the cut -- except for Apple.
When I was a grad student in England in the 1970s, Bell Labs in the USA was top of my list. About half of the technical papers in my field (telecom) came out of Bell Labs. I moved to New Jersey and worked at Bell Labs for over 20 years.
Now I do not see Bell Labs on any list. What a shame.
I don't see the relative lack of multinationals on the desired employers list for German or Japanese engineering students having much to do with nationalism or patriotism. It's a question of opportunities. I'm a new grad and I want a job. Where *are* the jobs? If I'm in Germany or Japan, there are likely jobs in my own country, working for prestigious employers, where I will get to both apply my skills to engineering challenges and broaden my skills over my tenure.
If I'm a Chinese engineering grad, what are my options? If I desire professional growth and an opportunity to work with leading edge technologies, I might find that easier to get at a multi-national.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.