Where Should I Work: Apple vs. Samsung

Apple or Samsung

Apple and Samsung are two of the premiere mobile phone and technology companies in the world. But from the outside, it may be tough to gauge what sets them apart as employers.

Apple, the world’s most valuable technology company, pulled in $260.17 billion in revenue in 2019. It employs 132,000 people worldwide, operating over 500 retail locations in 24 countries. However, despite its lofty value, Glassdoor ranks Apple 84th in its 2020 list of “Best Places to Work” list.

Founded in 1938 in Seoul, South Korea, Samsung is a multinational conglomerate specializing not just in mobile technology, but in apparel, motor vehicles, chemicals, electronic and medical equipment, appliances, and telecommunications, among others.

The company sits a few places behind Apple in terms of overall value, landing 15th overall on the current Fortune 500 list. Last year, Samsung accrued $221.5 billion in revenue while employing more than double the amount of employees of Apple; over 300,000 worldwide. Unlike Apple, however, Samsung doesn’t even appear in the top 100 of the aforementioned Glassdoor 2020 “Best Place to Work” list.

Below, we took a closer look at both companies to help you make a more informed decision about where to work: Apple or Samsung?

Apple or Samsung: Internships

Apple offers internship opportunities during the school year and summer months for undergraduate and graduate students. Internship opportunities can be found mostly in the United States and China.

While most internship opportunities with Apple are centered around those with technological expertise, the Cupertina, CA company does offer several opportunities to graduate students in the U.S. and China.

In addition to traditional internships, Samsung offers a two-year rotational Leadership Development (LDP) program for recent MBA grads. The program concentrates on three areas of rotation: Product Marketing, Strategy & Operations, and Sales & Marketing.

Apple or Samsung: Interviews

When interviewing at Apple, be prepared for several rounds of interviews, including a large group interview. According to Indeed, the majority of applicants experienced an interview process length between two weeks and one month.

The Samsung interview process, in comparison, is completed relatively quickly. According to Indeed, the majority of applicants completed the process in under one week.

Apple or Samsung: Compensation

Indeed reviews of compensation at Apple indicate salaries ranging from $130,186-$192,237 for top tech positions. About 71 percent of employees who left reviews felt they were compensated fairly for their work. Benefits at Apple include a 401K plan, dental, vision, health, and life insurance, as well as numerous employee discounts.

According to Payscale, an average Samsung salary is $92,192 per year with a more sparse range, between $48,697-$172,376. Positions with “Senior” status at Samsung pay an average of $133,849 per year.

Benefits at Samsung include health benefits, 401K, PTO, employee discounts, a gym membership, and numerous community outreach programs.

Apple or Samsung: Culture

Both Apple and Samsung have received extensive public criticism for company culture and labor practices.

Apple practices, such as anti-competitive behavior, sweatshop labor, data security breaches, misleading customers on warranties, and other service-related issues have raised business ethics alarms.

Compared to other companies of similar stature, Samsung employees ranked their overall experience at the company very poorly. According to Glassdoor, only 38 percent of employees would recommend working at the company to a friend. Samsung CEO approval rating is currently at 50 percent.

Apple or Samsung: Career Development

Apple’s career management brochure summarizes company policy on career development as follows: “Apple can’t guarantee lifelong employment. Your responsibility is to drive your own development and career.”

Samsung supports research and the opportunities that can grow from innovative ideas. The Samsung Research operates a Creative Lab Program to support employee ideas and provides funding and consultation to further develop creative solutions for the future.

Apple or Samsung: Recruiting

Apple accepts around 56 percent of online applications, opening doors to individuals without a previous connection to the company. About 15 percent of applicants were recruited through employee referral.

According to Glassdoor, individuals who apply online at Samsung receive a follow-up interview request at a rate of 33 percent. Campus and other recruitment efforts bring in 31 percent of interviewees follow by 22 percent by employee referral. 

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About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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