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Hacking The Future Turns Out To Be A Pretty Good Job

Google may be the most in-demand tech company for which people want to work, but according to a new report from Glassdoor, Twitter ranks #1 when it comes to employee satisfaction. This is particularly interesting given that Twitter didn’t even crack the top-50 last year. Now it headlines the list. While this could be a sign of the relative fickleness of employees—Twitter’s 2013 IPO has almost certainly positively skewed its ranking—the larger story is how heavily tech dominates Glassdoor’s list.

Tech’s Outsized Influence

Each year Glassdoor releases a list of the top-50 employers based on positive and negative feedback from employees. In 2013, over half a million company reviews were submitted by employees, which were then parsed to determine the best places to work. 

Facebook has dominated Glassdoor’s list of the top companies for the past three years, yet fell to the third spot among tech companies (and #5 overall) in the 2014 ranking. Four tech companies, including this year’s winner, Twitter, debuted on the Best Places to Work list.

But whatever the relative ranking of the tech companies in a given year, the overall influence of tech companies on Glassdoor’s top-50 list of employers has been strong and has consistently grown over the past few years (see 2009, 20102011, 2012, 2013 for comparison purposes). 

Among tech companies, many of the reviews sound similar: people appreciate the free food and the chance to work with extraordinarily bright colleagues. As one reviewer says of Twitter, “Colleagues are extremely smart people that you would grab a beer with.” Smart and likable colleagues. What’s not to like?

Changing The World, One Tweet At A Time

The work-life (imbalance) that plagues the top tech companies is one thing not to like. But this seems to take a backseat to an overriding interest in changing the world. Past winners of the Best Places to Work ranking like Southwest and General Mills are great companies, but lack deep impact on the world. General Mills, of course, keeps people fed. That is definitely important. It’s just not very cutting edge. Southwest gives this as its mission:

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.

That’s great. But it’s not world-changing. 

Of course there are non-tech companies that give their employees influence to solve big problems. This year’s overall winner, Bain & Company, gets top marks because it allows employees to “Drive real changes to solve big problems, while learning a ton and having a clear career path.” 

Contrast this with Twitter, which is changing the very way we think about news and the spread of information. Or Red Hat (#12 on the tech list), that is changing the way we develop and consume software. The tech industry has as much (or more) influence on changing the behavior of humans than any other sector. Companies are tackling hugely important problems, yielding high employee satisfaction even when things like work-life balance are out of control.

Here are the top-22 tech companies for which to work, according to Glassdoor’s analysis: 

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