MI5 and GCHQ are among the top 10 employers that IT students would like to work for, although the likes of Google and Apple still lead in the work popularity stakes.

Almost 1,200 IT students surveyed selected the organisations they would most like to work for as part of the Guardian UK300 compiled by research company trendence.

The Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Security Service (MI5) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) came in at six, seven and eight respectively. But the big names of Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Intel took places one to five.

IT students are also the most optimistic about their careers, with under half (49 percent) saying they are worried about the future compared to 65 percent of accounting, banking, media and public sector students, and 66 percent of law students.

This feeling of job security may also account for IT students being the group least likely to move abroad to find work, with only 13 percent saying they would do this after graduating.

The findings also show IT students expect to work the least number of hours upon graduating (42 hours against 44-52 hours in other sectors), and they are least likely to work for free to gain a good internship.

Chris Phillips, editor of the Guardian UK300, a list of the 300 most popular employers, said: “IT students seem to be the most secure and optimistic about their future career prospects. They are also the group least likely to say that the opinions of families, friends or lecturers affect their career choices, so all in all IT students are the most focused and at ease with their future career paths.”

The annual survey questioned over 25,000 UK students at more than 100 universities.

Google is planning to roll out a female diversity IT student scheme in more countries after a successful pilot in the UK and Germany.