Launched in 2010, the survey is conducted annually to help SAGEA members review the success of their graduate campaigns and help plan their future recruitment programmes.
The research took place between March to June 2021, attracting responses from 2,256 candidates.
“Each survey participant was asked to name up to two organisations whom they felt had the best graduate programme in specific sectors or industry groups with which they were familiar,” SAGEA said.
There were no lists of organisations to choose from and responses were entirely unprompted.
The group said that candidates were most likely to vote for specific organisations based on the programmes available, the training and development, the overall reputation of the organisation or the appeal of the brand.
In the accounting sector, PwC gained more than a third of the votes, while the ‘Big Four’ professional services firms gained more than three-quarters of the votes within this sector.
Commercial and retail banks attracted big interest, with Standard Bank receiving a quarter of the votes.
Sasol gained the most votes in both the chemical & pharmaceutical and engineering or industrial sectors, while Discovery was the top employer for both health and insurance.
Two organisations were the top employers in their sector for the first time this year: BCG within management consulting and the Auditor General in the public sector.
Below are the companies South African students selected across every major category.
|Charity or voluntary||Gift of the Givers||United Nations, Unicef|
|Chemical and pharmaceutical||Sasol||Aspen, Dischem|
|Commercial and retail banking||Standard Bank||First National Bank, Nedbank|
|Consulting (IT)||Accenture||Deloitte, EY|
|Consulting (Management)||BCG||Deloitte, Bain & Company|
|Engineering or industrial||Sasol||Zutari, Anglo American|
|Fast-moving consumer goods||Unilever||Tiger Brands, RCL Foods|
|Health||Discovery||Mediclinic, Department of Health|
|Insurance||Discovery||Old Mutual, Sanlam|
|Investment banking||Investec||Rand Merchant Bank, Allan Gray|
|IT hardware or software||Microsoft||Amazon, Huawei|
|Law||Bowmans||Webber Wentzel, ENSAfrica|
|Leisure||Tsogo Sun||Sun International, Tourvest|
|Manufacturing||Tiger Brands||Unilever, ABInBev|
|Mining and resources||Anglo American||Sasol, Exxaro|
|Public sector||Auditor-General||National Treasury, SARS|
|Retail||Shoprite||TFG, Mr Price Group|
|Transport or logistics||Transnet||Imperial Logistics, DHL|
|Utilities||Eskom||Sasol, Rand Water|