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best places to launch a career

I know this businessweek article is a couple weeks old and has generated a good amount of news already. But I didn't really skim through its rankings until recently. I really don't get these rankings. The big 4 are ranked as the top 4 best places to launch a career. You're telling me GE, Goldman Sachs, Google, Mckinsey, Apple and Microsoft are worse places to start than the Big 4? You have got to be kidding. Going down the list of things they looked at -
a) pay: The avg. starting pay is nowhere near the starting pay of most of the companies I mentioned.
b) bonuses: "Signing bonuses: 90% of entry-level hires received them in 2009". These signing bonuses go upto $5k. Add that to the starting salaries and that's still nowhere near a google, apple, goldman or mckinsey employee.
c) 401k match: sourced from a commenter on this post -"Deloitte will match 25% of the first 6% you put in. So, you make 80,000, put in 6% (4,800), you get $1,200 matched. more than that. You put in 8%, that last 2% won't get matched. And, you can't even get it until you have three FULL years of service."

d) Mentorship program participation: 100%. First off, they give everybody a mentor. Most of the mentors rarely ever take their mentees out to lunch, sit with them and help them out. Especially if the mentors are managers and above, then it's almost like the associates have to send out multiple emails to get their attention.
e) Promoting from within: 25.7% of top execs have been with the organization 20+ years.
That's just the way the firms are structured. They're not like normal companies where you can hire people from other companies and expect them to take over as a partner. It is a specialized industry. Businessweek should have looked into the % of people who "launched" their careers at the big 4 and are still with the firm after 4-5 years.

Look, I agree that these firms are great places to launch careers, don't get me wrong. But top 4? That's just ridiculous.


The JZA said…
I'm convinced that the Big 4 are somehow cashing in on relationships with people at Businessweek to consistently land in the "best places to launch a career" list. All of the big 4 are exploit their associates with long hours and no overtime (and if a case ever comes up they throw their army of lawyers at it) why does no one speak up about that? They talk about how they're "working to improve work-life balance" when its clear that if they actually tried doing so it would hurt their partners' profitabilities.
Anonymous said…
This article is BS. How are the Big 4 the best places to start a career when people can't even get an interview with them to begin with?
Anonymous said…
This article lost all its credibility when I saw Target on #8 with a starting salary of $45-50K for its entry level employees.
Anonymous said…
Obviously money wasnt the main factor here. Oh I love being obvious. So what the hell were they factoring to get public accounting #1-4? Obvious bribery, big 4 do a lot of advertising in that magazine. BTW, you got the 401k match wrong, it's 1.5% match of employees first 1.5% contribution. So to revisit your example, 1.5% of $55,000 = $825. So you kick in $825, Deloitte matches $825.
Anonymous said…
Technically, you both have it wrong. Deloitte will match 25% of the first 6% you put in. So, you make 80,000, put in 6% (4,800), you get $1,200 matched. more than that. You put in 8%, that last 2% won't get matched. And, you can't even get it until you have three FULL years of service. Considering most people are out by then, good deal for them.
notfordisplay said…
Thanks to the both of you for clearing that up.
Starbuck said…
Why no new posts ? Is it busy season time already ?
notfordisplay said…
haha, busy season essentially starts in the fall. Will post now.
Anonymous said…
bs! during big 4 recruitment talks they mentioned mentors, but they don't exist unless u count the seniors on the same job as me.

what have i learnt in 4 mths? nothing much except to follow last year's file because that is the main guidance i get. everyday i spend most of my time talking to clients NOT to understand stuff but to chase them for documents only. i feel like a pest.
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