Tech companies take top 75 UK placements and internship list by storm

Students rate their intern experiences, pushing many tech companies up the leaderboard for best experience this year

Technology companies have climbed up the Top 75 placement and internship employers in the UK list this year, with Microsoft shooting up 16 places to take second position for 2013.

The list is compiled using 6,000 student reviews, rating their placements between 2012 and 2013, and announced on

Intel jumped 26 places to make it into the top 10, while HP made it onto the list for the first time at number 51.

Overall, 10 IT and telecommunications companies made the top 75 this year, including Accenture, IBM, SAP, Metaswitch, Verizon, ARM, and Imagination Technologies.

Students were asked to rate their experience based on 15 questions, covering the amount of responsibility given, whether they felt valued by colleagues, impressions of the company overall, training and development opportunities, and transferable skills gained.

Additional factors included opportunities to socialise with others, the cost of living in the area, and company locations.

Professional services organisation Grant Thornton took the top spot this year, moving up one place from 2012, with student reviews averaging 8.66 out of 10 for placements at the firm.

Investing in skills and experience

Ollie Sidwell, co-founder at, said the diverse range of industries in this year’s table shows how far the undergraduate work experience market has come in providing skills and experience to students. 

2013 top 10 up/down from 2012

  1. Grant Thornton (↑1)
  2. Microsoft (↑16)
  3. BDO (↑3)
  4. PwC (↓1)
  5. EY (No change)
  6. Pinsent Masons (↑22)
  7. Barclays (↓6)
  8. Intel (↑26)
  9. GlaxoSmithKline (↓2)
  10. Warner Bros (↑27)

"With 11 law firms, two entertainment firms and 16 engineering companies making the table, it's fantastic to see a range of competitive companies, across a wide variety of industries, now battling the banks for the top spot," he said.

Work experience positions within the IT sector range from short-term placements of between one and three weeks, summer internships spanning eight to 12 weeks, and one-year placements.

“With graduate recruiters increasingly looking for evidence of relevant experience gained through undergraduate work experience, it is vital for students to undertake schemes which will equip them with the right skills and experience," said Sidwell.

“By taking into account the students’ own views on their experiences, the ranking offers those seeking schemes valuable insights into what is on offer. For employers, it offers advice on how to run the best-in-class scheme that benefits them as well as the student,” he added.

HR professionals struggling to find the candidates

A survey conducted by IT and analytics staffing firm InterQuest Group found the majority of IT companies are in need of candidates with specialist skills but are finding it difficult to recruit for such roles.

The company polled 200 HR professionals, finding that 78% are in demand of specialist roles such as big data (SAS, Vertica & Hadoop), HTML5, Javascript and telecoms protocol (iOS & Android), but 64% had difficulty recruiting for candidates with this expertise.

“Our findings highlight the ongoing need for recruitment professionals focused exclusively within niche markets who can recruit with genuine expertise in their sector," said InterQuest chief executive Mark Braund.

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