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Is Apple a Great Place to Work?

working at apple

It would be really hard to find someone, anywhere in the world that doesn’t instantly recognize the Apple brand. Headquartered in Cupertino, CA, It’s the largest technology company in the world as measured by revenue, the first public U.S. company to ever hit $1 trillion in market value, and as of 2018 had about $236 billion in liquid assets (cash and marketable securities). In 2018 it’s worldwide revenue was $265 billion. Despite a few rocky moments over the decades, Apple has been a technology powerhouse from its beginnings in the late 1970s.

After early success with personal computers (the Apple I, Apple II, and original Macintosh), founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs both left the company. Apple struggled into the 1990s due to the success of Microsoft offering lower-priced computers, but recovered after Jobs became the CEO again in 2000. Since then they have continually reinvented the technology world with the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, and of course iOS computers, in addition to numerous other related ventures. As any top company will, they’ve had their share of controversies over the years, but they always survive them and continue to grow.

Working at Apple

From the perspective of a job seeker, Apple in many ways seems ideal. In 2018 it had around 132,000 employees and as of this writing is advertising for over 4,500 open Jobs at Apple in multiple United States locations. It’s common knowledge that Apple has become synonymous with innovation, so almost anyone looking to pave the future by pushing new boundaries in a technological field would naturally be drawn to the company. The one exception might be those who are more inclined toward open-source solutions, as Apple’s “walled garden” ecosystem of proprietary systems and software is as well-known as it’s business and technological prowess.

All of that is theoretical of course, from a personal perspective. The real question is “what is it actually like working at Apple on a day to day basis”? Leadership is always important, and CEO Tim Cook, who took the reigns after the passing of Steve Jobs in 2011, enjoys a 91% approval rating among employees and was considered on of the top CEOs in the country in 2018. 

Unfortunately, with any company this large things can easily become less great as they roll down the chain to the employees scattered around the country and the world. While Apple is certainly nowhere near the bottom of the list and employees responding on Glassdoor give the company an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars, only 78% of those same respondents would recommend that a friend work there, a relatively low number in comparison to many companies. One of the most cited reasons for this is the work/life balance ratio. While not necessarily typical of all responses, one employee of more than 20 years noted “ZERO ZERO ZERO work/life balance. Execs have been saying for YEARS that they understand and will make it better. But in actuality, it gets worse every year!” Others note a cumbersome hierarchy, difficult scheduling systems, and fairly regular reorganizations.

On the positive side, most employees cite great pay and benefits, plentiful opportunities, and sometimes describe the work environment as “relaxed” despite long hours.

MediaJobs.com take is that Apple is definitely worth consideration. The wide diversity of job types, locations, and business lines makes it very difficult to pin down the employee experience at any given location or business branch. But the growth, profitability, and innovation of the company should provide something for almost anyone looking for a career in technology or media jobs.

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