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Facebook vs. Google: Which Employer Suits You Best?

By Denene Brox

Google and Facebook are not your typical technology companies. They are innovators that have literally changed the way people all over the world interact online. Both companies had humble beginnings. Google was founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford University PhD students. CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, launched the site in 2004 from a Harvard University dorm room.

Today both companies are headquartered in California – Google in Menlo Park and Facebook in Palo Alto – and employ some of the most talented and passionate employees in the technology industry.

Online salary database Payscale.com recently released new research comparing some of the largest technology companies as employers, including Google and Facebook. The research looked at several factors, including salaries, benefits, company culture and perks.

PayScale’s research showed that Google and Facebook share many commonalties, but have benefits that may suit one employee better than another. Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale, said that the research wanted to answer the question, “What’s life like as an employee?”

Salaries

Here’s a look at how median annual salary ranges for jobs at these two companies compare, according PayScale.com. Google pays more, overall.

Account Manager
Facebook: $33,876 - $66,027
Google: $43,999 - $111,572

Administrative Assistant
Facebook: $26,500 - $52,700
Google: $29, 368 - $62,584

Software Engineer
Facebook: $49,204 - $117,705
Google: $72,719 - $141,168

Sales Associate
Facebook: $26,100 - $59,300
Google: $23,977 - $66,899

Google employees also make more money out of the gate.

Median Starting Salaries
Google: $82,600
Facebook: $59,100

Percentage Above Market Pay for the IT Industry
Google: 23%
Facebook: 13%

Lee says that “Google is a very tech-driven company, with hiring skewed toward hardcore
computer science majors from universities like California Institute of Technology.” On the other hand, Facebook hires more user interface designers, sales and marketing employees, and game developers – positions that tend to require less in terms of overall qualifications.

Perks

Both Facebook and Google employees report being extremely satisfied at work. Perhaps both companies earn brownie points with their employees by providing cool perks.

Facebook
• Free beverages
• Flexible schedules
• Cell phones

Google
• Meals
• Daycare
• Pets at work


Former Google employee Natalie DuMont, who worked at Google for 3.5 years in sales, offered a bit of insight into what life is like as a Google employee. “It was exciting, challenging, and somewhat chaotic,” DuMont says. “A lot is expected of you. But there was a lot of encouragement and freedom to be creative, take initiative, problem solve, and work together as a team.”

Company Culture

The average age of employees at both companies tends to be young and the percentage of women workers are near equal at both companies.

 

Age

Women

Facebook

26

33%

Google

31

29%


What’s the best way to land a job at Google or Facebook? Career expert Cheryl Palmer says networking is important. “Your networking efforts will be most effective if you combine in-person networking with social networking. Contact the people in your network to talk with them about what your target company is looking for in the perfect candidate,” she says. “Armed with this information, you are then ready to start applying for jobs there.”

Source: All salary data is provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Annual salaries listed are for full-time employees with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.

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