News & Views

Tech Jobs in Corporate vs Start-up

There are quite a few differences between working for an established corporation and working for a startup. Understanding which environment is best for you can be challenging, especially for early career professionals. But both environments provide different opportunities that can be beneficial to you.

Job Duties

One of the major benefits of working at a startup, especially for an early career professional, is that startups typically have less rigid job duties, fewer silos, and more flexibility on assignments. How can this benefit you? If you’re looking to grow your skills quickly, a startup can be the perfect environment.

Because there’s typically a smaller workforce at startups, you may have an opportunity to work on projects that you might not have the opportunity to at larger companies. At startups, employees usually have more expansive job duties to account for the fact that there are fewer employees. While this can be a great way to improve your skills faster, it may also be overwhelming as a new employee.

Mentorship Opportunities

One benefit of working at larger, more established companies is the opportunity for both informal and formal mentorship. As an early career professional, you’ll likely be working around developers, designers, and analysts with far more experience than you. Some larger companies even have formal mentorship programs to pair less experienced or newer employees with veteran employees. Mentorship early in your career can be a big contributor to success.

At smaller early-stage startups it’s less likely to receive guidance and mentorship because there are usually feweremployees and formalized programs. However, although it may be more difficult, it’s possible to find mentorshipopportunities at smaller companies. You may just have to be more intentional about it.

Established Growth Tracks

Larger companies usually have a plan for how to develop their employees and sometimes provide a formal path forpromotion and career growth. Those paths may require that the employee meet certain milestones or have a certain tenurebefore a promotion is considered. As an early career professional it can be encouraging to have this path laid out for you.

On the other hand, while you most likely won’t have this level of formality at a startup, development and promotion canhappen very quickly. Because some startups can grow very quickly, you may start as one of the first hires and quickly findyourself managing a team. Because there is so much to be done, there’s an opportunity to prove yourself and demonstrate your abilities without as much constraint.


Working at an early-stage startup can be seen as risky because you don’t know if they’ll find long-term success. Startups areusually still validating their idea and trying to establish product-market fit. Established corporations typically offer morestability given a likely record of sustained success.

Although it can be risky, getting into a startup on the ground floor and being a part of its success can be highly rewarding.Just ask the early employees of Facebook or Google!

Choosing between a startup or a large corporation depends on your goals and the work environment you work best in. As anearly career professional, it may seem like a daunting choice, but the reality is as you try new things, you’ll refine what youwant and need in a work environment and learn to set yourself up for success.

DigitalCrafts cannot guarantee employment, salary, or career advancement. REQ1873260 10/22

Bryana Wall Bryana Wall Content Writer LinkedIn