It's hard to dispute the power of Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) brand name. Bottles of Tesla Tequila sold out shortly after they were made available, and they're now selling at about four times their initial purchase price on eBay.

And the electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer seems to have a new competitive advantage that may be flying under investors' radar. Citing surveys conducted by Universum, the EV news website Electrek is reporting that Tesla came in first among the most attractive companies in the United States for engineering students worldwide. Jumping to the top slot for 2020, Tesla had come in second from 2017 to 2019.

Universum arrived at its findings after surveying more than 235,000 business, engineering, and IT students in the world's 12 largest economies and asking them "(a) which employer characteristics are most influential as they consider future employment, and (b) which employer brands they most admire."

Silhouette of a college graduate holding a diploma.

Image source: Getty Images.

For Tesla's shareholders, news of the company taking the top spot on Universum's survey shouldn't be quickly dismissed. Investors should be quite pleased that engineering students find the company so desirable among potential employers.

With Fisker expecting to start production of its SUV in 2022, NIO ramping up production of its EVs, and luxury brand Lucid Motors targeting spring 2021 for production of its Air sedan, Tesla's ability to attract top talent will be an important edge for the company in an increasingly competitive EV landscape.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.