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Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google are the five leading tech companies that form the popular acronym, FAANG.
The FAANG firms have effectively dominated the consumer tech and entertainment experience.
All five companies have bases in Singapore, and are expanding rapidly. For one, Amazon is hiring for over 200 jobs based in Singapore, according to its careers page.
On the other hand, Facebook is slated to open a S$1.4 billion, 11-storey data centre in Singapore and its first in Asia in 2022.
Due to their popularity and rapid growth, they usually generate a huge buzz when they announce job openings.
Job seekers are also inevitably drawn to the perks of working in these companies (think free-flow beer and sleeping pods at Google).
But which is the best option for someone looking for a career in tech here?
With that, we take a look at the growth and attractiveness of each of these Silicon Valley big names.
Facebook was founded in 2004, and is also the parent company of Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger.
As of 2020, Facebook has 2.6 billion monthly active users, and also 1.73 billion users visiting at least one of its core products on a daily basis.
When it comes to social media, Facebook is the undefeated champion. Based on statistics from the tech giant in 2018, it reached 60.6 per cent of social media users.
Its presence in Singapore is strong as well. It currently has 4.82 million users in the city, and the number is projected to reach 5.1 million by 2025.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, Facebook raked in US$21 million (S$28.5 million), with the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) accounting for 17.3 per cent of the total.
Facebook’s revenue in APAC seems to be growing steadily, and it has big plans to continue growing in the region, with Singapore as its headquarters.
In 2018, it moved to its four-storey Marina One office which houses its 1,000-man team.
It has also actively supported startups in Singapore, and launched a data innovation startup programme, called Startup Station Singapore, in collaboration with the Infocomm Media Development Authority.
Singapore is key to our continued growth in the region, and we are honoured to work with and support some incredible partners in the public and private sector to drive Singapore’s economic, innovation, and community goals.
According to Facebook’s careers page, it has 52 open positions — from interns to managers — in Singapore.
Facebook has a 4.4 star rating on Glassdoor — 89 per cent of those reviewed would recommend the job to a friend, while 93 per cent approved of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
According to several reviews, Facebook offers a lot of opportunities for growth and self-development.
Besides, employees are also encouraged to have a high level of work-life balance.
Employees get a meal allowance, health benefits such as gym memberships, free beer and wine, and an IT vending machine that dispenses gadgets for employee usage.
As for compensations, the pay for mid-level technologists is around S$108,000 per annum, according to data collected by Glassdoor.
Mid-ranking client solutions managers are paid approximately S$120,000 a year, while data engineers, take home about S$125,000 a year.
Amazon started as an online bookstore in 1994, and has grown by leaps and bounds to become the world’s largest e-commerce company.
It now offers a seemingly endless suite of products, from software, electronics, food to its own movies and TV shows.
Its cloud computing service, Amazon Web Services is the world’s largest seller of cloud computing solutions.
While many companies faced mounting losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Amazon saw a huge surge in sales.
Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world by market value, with a market capitalisation as of 9 July 2020 of nearly US$1.6 trillion (S$2.17 trillion).
Online store sales jumped 48 per cent to US$45.9 billion (S$62.22 billion) in the second quarter of 2020.
Amazon only entered the Singapore market in 2017, and faces tough competition from other e-commerce sites like Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10.
However, it is steadily expanding its presence in the region, with Singapore as its base.
In September, it was reported that the tech giant would take over three floors of Citigroup’s offices in the central business district.
According to its career page, it is hiring for close to 200 jobs in Singapore, with positions ranging from entry-level to managerial roles.
Amazon Singapore has a 4.3 star rating on Glassdoor, with 92 per cent approving of its billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and 87 per cent stating that they would recommend the firm to a friend.
The reviews included feedback on a range of aspects including career opportunities, compensation, senior management, and culture and values.
However, Amazon has recently been put in the spotlight for unethical business practices and a tough work culture.
This year, workers launched a virtual rally to stage a protest and employees from Amazon have allegedly been fired for speaking out against the company.
A New York Times article in 2015 also described the work culture as excessively tough and even “abusive”.
Amazon offers insurance coverage, relocation benefits, retirement benefits as well as other common benefits. There are also bonuses and share options.
As for renumeration, AWS business development managers (BDMs) are among the better-paid staff, and mid-level annual salaries are approximately S$200,000, according to figures collected by Glassdoor.
On the other hand, marketing managers take home an average of S$120,000 per annum while mid-career solutions architects can potentially earn S$177,000 base salaries.
Apple started out in the business of kit computers with the Apple I back in 1976, and has been on an upward trajectory of growth since then.
Today, nearly everyone knows the Apple brand, and Apple has been highly successful in penetrating the Singapore market.
In 2018, Apple was the first company to record a market capitalisation of US$1 trillion, and subsequently passed the $1.3 trillion threshold in December 2019.
From smartphones to smartwatches to Airpods, Apple has managed to successfully integrate many users into its extensive ecosystem.
More than 90 per cent of Singapore’s population are smartphone users, and the city has a mobile penetration rate of 159.1 per cent.
In early 2020, Apple was the market leader among mobile vendors in Singapore with a market share of approximately 33.6 per cent.
Apple has also set its sights on Singapore as a major destination to release its new products, and opened a third store here.
The tech giant has also partnered with Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB) to jointly develope a new free app exclusive for Apple Watches.
As compared to Facebook and Amazon, Apple does not seem to be hiring as aggressively here, with around 20 roles available for Singaporeans.
Amazon Singapore has a 4.0 star rating on Glassdoor, with 96 per cent approving of its CEO Tim Cook and 90 per cent stating that they would recommend the firm to a friend.
Feedback on working at the company typically depicts a challenging, yet rewarding work experience.
Apple lovers have even more of a reason to join the tech giant as employees from both the Apple stores and office get up to 25 per cent discount for Apple products.
As for compensations, an intern is paid around S$1,000 a month, while specialists take home about S$39,000 a year, according to Glassdoor data.
Managers are paid approximately S$114,000 to S$120,000 a year.
Netflix is a subscription-based streaming service that allows members to watch TV shows and movies without commercials on an internet-connected device.
It boasts of a huge repository of content, from movies to documentaries, and some of which it produces in-house.
The firm established Netflix Asia in Singapore back in 2016.
Netflix is also one of the companies thriving during the pandemic. With lockdowns happening all over the world, people have had to look for alternative sources of entertainment, with Netflix being a main player in the scene.
Since lockdowns happened, Netflix has had almost 16 million more subscribers than before, with stock prices soaring.
As of 16 April 2020, Netflix was worth US$194 billion (S$262.9 billion) — an all time high — and surpassed Disney.
Like Apple, Netflix is also hiring less aggressively, with around 14 job openings at the moment.
Netflix Singapore has a 4.4 star rating on Glassdoor, with 92 per cent approving of its CEO and 95 per cent stating that they would recommend the firm to a friend.
According to Glassdoor, most of the pros of working at the firm include having a high level of freedom, as well as a great culture and management team.
On the flip side, some cons included the lack of manpower and little work-life balance.
As for compensations, a mid-level recruiting coordinator is paid around S$76,000, while audio visual producers take home about S$200,000 a year, according to Glassdoor data.
Managers are paid approximately S$200,000 to S$219,000 yearly.
However, it has to be taken into consideration that the data was derived from the inputs of one person in each job function, and an average could not be determined.
It can be argued that nearly everyone has to make use of Google’s services each day.
Google started off in 1995 as purely a search engine. Since then, its product lines have evolved drastically, and range from productivity tools to software and hardware.
This January, Google’s parent company Alphabet picked up about US$8 billion (S$10.84 billion) in market value, and entered the trillion club.
This July, Google announced a new jobs and skills training initiative for 3,000 entry level and mid-career jobseekers in Singapore.
The initiative is called Skills Ignition SG and prepares participants for jobs related to digital marketing and cloud technology.
One of the programmes focuses on providing on-the-job training opportunities for up to 600 applicants.
“We remain focused on empowering Singaporeans today for tomorrow, as we create good training opportunities and vital industry experience for them,” said Google Singapore country director Ben King.
Google also said it returned its Jobs Support Scheme wage subsidies as an additional show of support for the local community and has pledged to decline future payouts from the Government.
A quick search on the Google Careers page shows that it is hiring for 67 positions in Singapore, with majority of the job scopes being in the field of sales, and engineering and technology.
Google Singapore has a 4.4 star rating on Glassdoor, with 96 per cent approving of its CEO and 92 per cent stating that they would recommend the firm to a friend.
All over the world, Google offices are well-known for its employee perks and benefits and year after year, it has been ranked as one of the top companies to work for.
This is hardly surprising, considering perks such as such as stock options, massage rooms, nap pods, laundry services and hairdressers, and mechanics for your car on site.
Daniel Wasik, Google APAC’s Head Of Talent And Outreach, affirms that Google takes the welfare of its employees seriously.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, 24/7 counselling services are available and Blue Dot, an employee-led mental health awareness group, is also available on Google Meet.
Google is also allegedly known for paying its staff well.
A product specialist is paid around S$116,000 a year, while managers take home around S$133,000 to S$173,000 per annum, according to Glassdoor data.
As each of the Big 5 companies have something to boast about, being able to land a job there is also a tough and competitive process.
Furthermore, no job is easy, and one should be prepared to face challenges no matter which of the five companies they choose to work in.
Besides, these firms are on an upward trajectory for growth, which might make for the need to work harder and longer hours.
While employee benefits might also be tempting, it is also important to consider other factors such as whether your personal values align with that of the company.
Personally, I appreciate an open working culture and having the ability to make a difference in whatever I do.
Google’s core mission of “making world’s information universally accessible” is also something that I strongly resonate with, which is why Google stands out to me as a firm to join.
Featured Image Credit: Glassdoor / Venture Beat / Forbes
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