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AfterCollege, an online service that connects college students, alumni and employers through faculty and career networks at colleges and universities, recently launched an Employer Popularity Index that enables students to pick which companies they’d like to work for.

While the Index launched just before winter break on college campuses, the real-time data collected surged in the weeks that followed and became populated with companies that one might expect (Google is ranked at the top) and others that may be surprising (the CIA is ranked number 18).

As the Index drums up more interest on campuses, participation is expected to dramatically increase. Roberto Angulo, CEO of AfterCollege, said he expects more than 100,000 students to register their employment interest by the end of this semester.

The data is represented via a tag cloud that enables users to visualize which companies have garnered the most votes. Playing around with the data lets employers see a map of schools where their company is most requested. In addition, employers can use the data as benchmarks to see how they compare with other popular companies.

The top ten most requested companies are currently listed as Google, Kaiser Permanente, IBM, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, GE, Intel, Facebook, Amazon, and Boeing. Surprisingly, Apple does not make the top ten and is ranked #13.

ERE’s John Zappe featured AfterCollege in an article spotlighting the popularity monitor. Zappe writes,”AfterCollege has a fun, new beta tool that corporate college recruiters might just want to consider.”

The popular tech blog Techcrunch also publicized the Index as a popularity contest between Facebook and Google, writing that Google “trumps” Facebook when it comes to being an in-demand employer. Poaching between the two companies has been widely reported, and the Index shows that Google HR “can take a deep breath and relax, at least for the moment.”

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