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IEEE Spectrum

In Their Dreams: Where Tech Professionals Long to Work

It’s the salary. And the location. And the mission. And the reputation. It’s a combination of these things—as well as, let’s face it, the coolness factor—that make a tech company a dream employer for a software engineer, product manager, data scientist, or other tech professional.

Job search firm Hired surveyed 3,600 tech professionals to come up with a list of top employers. They did this by creating a positivity index—a number based on a mix of survey respondents who either would “love to work” or “might like to work” at a particular company. Hired also asked respondents what factors played into their choices.

Some of the usual suspects—Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft—made the top 15. But others, particularly on the list of privately held tech companies—were a bit of a surprise. I didn’t realize engineers dreamed of working at Virgin Hyperloop One or Instacart; and stock-trading app Robinhood hadn’t even been on my radar until it ranked seventh on LinkedIn’s list of hottest startups released earlier this month.  Overall, the top 15 public companies pulled higher positivity indexes than all of the private ones except Airbnb, SpaceX, and Hulu—perhaps simply because they are better known.

Silicon Valley companies dominated Hired’s dream employer rankings—of the top 30 (15 public, 15 private) companies that Hired identified, 19 call the San Francisco Bay Area home. With another five based in Los Angeles and two in Seattle, that left only four tech dream companies with roots beyond the west coast of the U.S.: three in New York and one in Austin, Texas. And in spite of this being a global survey, no non-U.S. company made the top rankings.

Companies Most Loved by Tech Professionals (Private)

Rank Company Location Positivity Index*
1 Airbnb San Francisco Bay Area 76
2 SpaceX Los Angeles Area 70
3 Hulu Los Angeles Area 66
4 Reddit San Francisco Bay Area 59
5 Kickstarter New York City 55
6 WeWork New York City 54
7 Indeed Austin 52
8 Robinhood San Francisco Bay Area 50
9 Stripe San Francisco Bay Area 48
10 Squarespace New York City 47
11 Virgin Hyperloop One Los Angeles Area 46
12 Quora San Francisco Bay Area 45
13 JPL Los Angeles Area 44
14 Instacart San Francisco Bay Area 40
15 Coinbase San Francisco Bay Area 40

*based on number of respondents interested in working for a company

Source: Hired

Companies Most Loved by Tech Professionals (Public)

Rank Company Location Positivity Index*
1 Google San Francisco Bay Area 87
2 Netflix San Francisco Bay Area 82
3 Apple San Francisco Bay Area 77
4 Linked In San Francisco Bay Area 76
5 Microsoft Seattle Area 75
6 Slack San Francisco Bay Area 72
7 Amazon Seattle 70
8 GitHub San Francisco Bay Area 70
9 Dropbox San Francisco Bay Area 68
10 Tesla San Francisco Bay Area 67
11 Adobe San Francisco Bay Area 65
12 Lyft San Francisco Bay Area 63
13 Facebook San Francisco Bay Area 63
14 The Walt Disney Co. Los Angeles Area 62
15 Twitter San Francisco Bay Area 60

*based on number of respondents interested in working for a company

Source: Hired

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