From Chapter 1 of Marty Nemko’s book, Careers for Dummies.
Start-ups make for lots of sexy-sounding headlines because of a ping-pong and Red Bull culture, and when a start-up goes public, it makes its founders zillionaires. Beyond the headlines, start-ups have other pluses: They often allow you to wear many hats in the service of a cutting-edge product and offer the prospect of a big-buck exit. Just remember that most start-ups quickly go bust, leaving employees jobless and with a stock options worth zippo.
Sure, working for a large company has some disadvantages: Your role may be narrow, and you may be forced to follow procedure and the chain of command. But a solid structure can help a company be greater than the sum of its parts. Combine that concept with the deep pockets, refined processes, and good products associated with larger companies and it’s easy to understand why many graduates of prestigious colleges continue to want to work for category killers like Apple, Google, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, 3M, General Electric, and Procter & Gamble. Similarly, people who prefer nonprofits are attracted to major players like UNICEF, Planned Parenthood, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And, people who prize job security and prosocial mission gravitate to the largest employer: the government.