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Company Size: Is it Important?

Company sizes vary—ranging from multi-billion dollar corporations to start-ups and everywhere in between. Trying to figure out where you want to be on this spectrum is an important part of your research process. While there is ultimately no right answer, there may be a better fit for you. Each company is unique, no matter their size, but there are some things to consider as you determine your interests and priorities.

Know What Matters To You

There are a lot of different things that make up your job experience. Salary, culture, benefits, communication style, flexibility, group environment, location, advancement opportunities, and training programs are all things that go into choosing what company you want to work for. Understanding yourself can help determine what you need to start looking for in an employer. Make a priorities list for “must” items and one for things you would like to have. Using this list, you can determine your own criteria for the type of organization you are looking for—and possibly questions to consider asking.

As you consider the possible pros and cons that go along with company size, remember that each individual company is different and the pros and cons listed below are generalized.

Large Company

Possible Pros:

  • Allow you to specialize more in your field of study
  • Provide a more structured environment
  • Offer a formal career path to management or different positions
  • Increased stability within the organization

Possible Cons:

  • Bureaucratic elements
  • May experience the feeling of getting lost as “another number”
  • Less momentum/ slower moving when wanting to implement change

Small Company

Possible Pros:

  • Help you see the impact your work has on the company as a whole
  • Provide more flexibility within the organization
  • Present more opportunities to meet with senior leadership team
  • Allow you to try out different roles

Possible Cons:

  • Fewer defined areas for promotions
  • Limited resources for training and development
  • Less comprehensive benefit package

Ultimately, ECS recommends that you research each company. Resources such as internship evaluations (available at the ECS front desk), job shadow experiences, company websites and social media, Glassdoor.com, and even your professional network and classmates can be invaluable when learning more about an employer. Identifying your priorities can help you match what is important to you with the values of the organization. The company size can be a factor, but in the end it is the work that you will be doing that is most important—as long as you find the right environment for you.

"When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier." - Roy E. Disney

About the author

Alex Austin

Alex Austin is a Graduate Administrative Associate with Engineering Career Services.