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Best Companies for Gen Y: Millennials at Work

PayScale and Brazen Careerist released today the "Top 50 Gen Y Companies". It was a lot of fun working with Penelope Trunk developing this list.

Gen Y, also known as Millennials, is the generation born after 1977. Since over half of Gen Y go to 4-year colleges, we decided to focus on the large companies where Gen Y college grads would most likely be happy working.

In this post, after a quick review of the methodology, I will count the winner and losers, and look at why some famous companies didn't make the list.

Even if you are not working at a top Gen Y company, are you at least being paid fairly? Find out with a free PayScale Salary Report.

What Makes a Company Best for Gen Y?

Our goal in making this ranking was to identify large companies that may be attractive to Gen Y job seekers who are college graduates.

Even though there are many excellent small companies, we focused on large companies (ones that employee more than ~2,000 bachelors graduates) because these are companies where many Gen Y workers will eventually find jobs.

While we all would like to work at the Gates Foundation, with only ~800 employees, the odds are pretty slim, and that is a large non-profit. With more than 100 times as many employees, Johnson and Johnson is a place where Millennials have a decent chance of landing a job.

The choice of criteria for ranking was based on Penelope's research into what Gen Y is looking for, and the PayScale bias in favor of objective measures:

  1. Gender balance: Gen Y is the first generation to grow up with the expectation that women and men can fill the same roles. Having a workforce that reflects that is attractive.
  2. Percentage Gen Y employees: Having co-workers who are at the same point in life is a benefit for both social interactions and support.
  3. Climate Change Score: Gen Y will be living in 2050 with the consequences of the choices being made by companies today to address climate change. We used the ClimateCounts company scores.
  4. Pay: Employers who pay Gen Y better are recognizing the value these workers bring to their companies. Generally, with higher pay comes greater responsibility and impact as well, which Gen Y workers value.

One area with growing Gen Y employment that we didn't include was government agencies. While government agencies likely wouldn't have ranked well with the criteria we used, we didn't include them for technical reasons.

Winners and Losers

Here are the Top 50 Companies for Gen Y, together with information on industry, approximate number of employees, and median pay for Gen Y employees (all US locations).

Rank

Company Name

Industry

Approximate Number of Employees

National Gen Y Median Pay

1

NBC Universal, Inc.

Media

50,000

$68,700

2

PepsiCo Inc.

Food

185,000

$70,800

3

Nestlé USA, Inc.

Food

16,000

$67,400

4

Google, Inc.

Information Technology

20,000

$92,200

5

Citigroup, Inc.

Banking

327,000

$73,800

6

Procter & Gamble Co.

Consumer Goods

135,000

$68,100

7

Johnson & Johnson

Consumer Goods

119,000

$68,300

8

Grant Thornton LLP

Consulting and Accounting

31,000

$58,700

9

AECOM Corporation

Engineering and Construction

43,000

$59,100

10

Merrill Lynch & Co, Inc.

Finance

9,700

$59,500

11

Abercrombie & Fitch Co

Retail

83,000

$33,000

12

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Finance

30,000

$80,800

13

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Consulting and Accounting

156,000

$59,200

14

Deutsche Bank

Banking

81,000

$77,700

15

Robert Half International Inc.

Professional Staffing and Consulting

13,000

$58,100

16

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Inc.

Advertising

15,000

$45,600

17

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Insurance

5,000

$44,300

18

Credit Suisse First Boston

Investment Banking

11,000

$85,600

19

Aon Consulting, Inc.

Human Capital and Management Consulting

6,300

$54,300

20

Morgan Stanley

Finance

47,000

$64,200

21

Stryker Corporation

Medical Technology

18,000

$64,400

22

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Media

6,000

$58,300

23

Yahoo! Inc.

Information Technology

14,000

$84,700

24

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.

Defense

19,000

$68,500

25

Paychex, Inc.

Payrolls

13,000

$42,200

26

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Banking

225,000

$50,800

27

Bank of America Corp.

Banking

243,000

$43,900

28

Nike, Inc.

Consumer Goods

34,000

$50,500

29

Deloitte & Touche LLP

Consulting and Accounting

44,000

$62,800

30

Geico

Insurance

20,000

$46,100

31

Ernst & Young

Consulting and Accounting

27,000

$59,100

32

Bloomberg L.P.

Finance

11,000

$81,900

33

KPMG LLP

Consulting and Accounting

22,000

$60,900

34

Tribune Co.

Media

21,000

$49,500

35

Cummins Engine Co Inc

Heavy Equipment

40,000

$62,300

36

SunGard Data Systems

Information Technology

20,000

$76,200

37

Hewitt Associates, Inc.

Human Resources

23,000

$63,400

38

Exelon Corporation

Utilities

20,000

$71,700

39

Accenture

Management Consulting and Technology Services

186,000

$69,900

40

Automatic Data Processing, Inc.

Consulting and Accounting

45,000

$49,800

41

Express Scripts Incorporated

Pharmaceuticals

11,000

$42,800

42

Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated

Real Estate

36,000

$58,000

43

Nielsen Media Research Inc

Media

5,000

$53,900

44

Koch Industries, Inc.

Conglomerate

70,000

$51,800

45

Northern Trust Corp.

Finance

12,000

$55,100

46

Thomson Reuters

Finance

33,000

$63,500

47

Merck & Co., Inc.

Pharmaceuticals

55,000

$73,800

48

Target Corporation

Retail

351,000

$39,300

49

Ameriprise Financial, Inc.

Finance

11,000

$41,100

50

Marriott International, Inc.

Lodging

146,000

$38,000

What is very interesting about this list is who is on and who is off. Google and SunGard Data Systems make the top 50 list, while other technology industry leaders like Microsoft and Oracle do not. The key difference? Google and SunGard Data Systems have been more effective in hiring Gen Y workers of both genders.

Despite their current reputation, the finance and banking industry, with 12 companies in the top 50, remains an attractive option for Gen Y. This industry both pays Gen Y employees better than most and has a workforce that skews young.

How Useful is this List?

The purpose of the "Top 50 Gen Y Companies" ranking was to identify large companies that may be attractive to Gen Y job seekers, based on objective criteria that Gen Y cares about.

How useful is this list? I found it eye opening in two ways.

Before we started, I expected the list to be strongly biased to a particular industry; e.g., it would just be a list of all large tech companies. However, the large diversity of industries represented on the final list means there are attractive places for Gen Y across the economy. That broader view should help Gen Y job seekers at a time when finding a job is tough.

Similarly, that not all large companies in an industry are present is telling. That Google and Yahoo! make the list, and Oracle and Microsoft do not, points out significant differences in corporate culture that Gen Y job seekers should be aware of.

These are my reasons the ranking is useful for Gen Y. Penelope Trunk, as always, also has interesting insights worth reading.

As any Gen Y member will tell you, don't trust your boss to pay fairly, know what is fair. For powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position or job offer, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale's Full Salary Survey.

Cheers,

Al Lee

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