Big multinational companies here in Ireland are the most attractive employers for third level students, according to research published by Universum, which is part of IrishJobs.

Over 8,000 students were surveyed as part of the Most Attractive Employers Index Ireland 2022.

Google, Microsoft and Apple all feature within the top five employers, for Business, Economics, IT and Engineering students.

Intel has moved into first place as the top preference amongst Engineering students with Google ranked second and Microsoft coming third.

Aer Lingus has moved up two places to 9th place while Ryanair has moved up six places and now sits in 15th position.

Pfizer continues to rank in first position among Natural Sciences students, followed by Johnson & Johnson.

New entries to the Most Attractive Employers Index include Irish companies An Post and Irish Rail.

Meanwhile, the greatest gains in 2022 from 2021 were for brewery manufacturer Heineken and ESB, both of which went up by 40 places among IT students.

"With renowned tech and pharmaceutical multinationals leading the way in this year's Index, it’s clear that third-level students are keen play their part in helping to shape the growing digital and scientific transformation that is underway across our economy and society, not only in Ireland, but across the globe," said Steve Ward, UK and Ireland Business Director of Universum.

"Both science and technology played a vital role during the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling people to work from home, businesses to continue functioning and healthcare to take place virtually, while also resulting in the development of a number of vaccines to help protect people during what was an extremely unsettling and uncertain period," he added.