10/03/2011 05:55 pm ET | Updated Dec 03, 2011

The 9 Most Attractive Employers For Engineers, Ranked By Universum

For the third year in a row an American company has won the title of most attractive employer for engineers seeking a job.

In its annual report of The World’s Most Attractive Employers, a corporate branding company Universum, has ranked the world's top 50 companies, based on the preferences of 160,000 of business and engineering students from the world's 12 largest economies -- Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, U.K., and U.S.

Universum Global Account Director Carlo Duraturo said in a statement that at least part of the reason for the popularity of innovative companies with luxurious office amenities is due to the increased importance today's job seekers are placing on their work environment. "There’s a new working-culture paradigm today – the relaxed & creative office - and part of it we owe to this industry," said Duraturo. "Generation Y feels very comfortable working in this new environment and it’s clearly reflected in the attractiveness of the software industry."

According to Businessweek, the most attractive company's repeated position at the top of the list (see slideshow) indicates the desire of the current generation to feel connected to their work and like they are making a difference in the world.

According to Universum's report on job-seekers' preferences, the popularity of American multinational companies far outpaces the popularity of those based in other countries. Indeed, Universum's 2011 study found that six of the top nine most attractive places to work are U.S.-based, two are based in Germany and one is based in Japan.

Of those American companies, IBM and Microsoft have switched spots since last year, with IBM unseating Microsoft as the second most desirable company to work for. Last week, IBM's market cap briefly passed that of Microsoft for the first time in 15 years, leading analysts to applaud IBM CEO Samuel Palmisano for his willingness to diversify in the face of changes in the technology industry.

Check out our slideshow to see the most popular companies that engineers seek to get hired, then visit Universum to see the full list of top 50 companies.

9 Most Attractive Companies For Engineers