Generation Y is the largest generation in the American workforce, with 53.5 million millennials holding down some kind of job. In comparison, there are 52.7 million Gen Xers and 44.6 million baby boomers who are employed.
So where do millennials most want to work? A new survey by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) asked more than 18,000 students aged 15-29 to each rank their three most preferred companies to work for from a list of 200 companies.
Unsurprisingly, Google, the tech behemoth known for its progressive culture and desirable employee perks, tops the list at No. 1.
Other tech companies that millennials preferred were Apple (No. 4), Microsoft (No. 7) and Intel (No. 24). What’s surprising is that the list isn’t dominated by tech corporations and that Facebook (No. 29) isn’t as popular a company as expected to work for.
Also, largely absent from the list are jobs in the venture capitalist industry, in Silicon Valley startups, in New York hedge funds, and in banking and finance positions on Wall Street.
What’s also surprising is that so many millennials want to work in the health sector industry. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, which focuses on catastrophic children’s diseases, ranks at No. 3 on the list. Local hospitals rank at No. 6; the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group, holds its own at No. 14; and the Health Care Service Corporation (No. 9), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (No. 10), Blue Cross and Blue Shield (No. 22), UnitedHealth Group (No. 23) and the Atlantic Health Service (No. 25) round out the list’s top 30 spots.
In total, health care organizations take up eight spots on the list. NSHSS CEO James Lewis told Forbes the high concentration of such organizations are because “millennials have a passion for helping other people.”
Also unexpected is that federal government agencies such as the FBI (No. 5), NSA (No. 19) and CIA (No. 8) made the list despite the fact that such firms have recently tarnished images and are portrayed in television shows and movies in a negative light, as organizations that spy on citizens and breed paranoia. But Lewis explained the trend, saying:
“[M]illennials want to protect our country. With an organization like the NSA, they’re not running from it but instead saying, ‘Let’s get in there and fix the problem.’ ”
By looking at the list, you’d assume that most of the top companies’ jobs command high salaries, suggesting that millennials consider finances a factor in their job-related choices. But the NSHSS findings suggest otherwise: In terms of salary and perks, a whopping 70% favored flexible work hours compared to 46% who were concerned about base salaries.
Somehow, Abercrombie & Fitch, Starbucks and Hershey’s also managed to woo millennials enough to earn top spots on NSHSS’s list. Here are the top 30 companies:
- Walt Disney Company
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
- Local hospital
- Health Care Service Corp.
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- DreamWorks Animation
- Mayo Clinic
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- The New York Times
- State Department
- U.S. Air Force
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- UnitedHealth Group
- Atlantic Health Service
- CHG Healthcare Services