Disney Tops List of Best Places to Begin Career

Disney’s orientation programs may include earning a little extra pixie dust, but grads are lining up for work at the world’s largest media and entertainment company. The Walt Disney Company recently topped the list of the “50 Best Places to Launch A Career,” as compiled by BusinessWeek magazine.

The formula for the rankings is a fairly complex mix of career counselor ratings of businesses to where grads are applying, and then tossing in a survey of pay, benefits, retention and corporate training information. What BusinessWeek found is that many grads are not targeting a single corporation, or even a single industry, but looking across the spectrum of employers to find the right job. For example, No. 9 J.P. Morgan might be competing with No. 16 L’Oreal, despite the vast difference in corporate identity and industry.

Other companies topping the list were Lockheed Martin, Deloitte & Touche, Goldman Sachs, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car rounding out the top five spots.

This is key information for both grads and companies to consider. With a coming downshift as Baby Boomers retire, companies are going to be facing a considerable need for labor while facing a considerable dose of competition. If the Internet boom of the 1990s was any foreshadowing, companies will have to solidify benefits, up compensation and offer a work-life equation that is more than balanced.

“Given the country’s demographics, some accommodation is inevitable. Entry-level hiring is expected to surge in 2007 by more than 17%,” BusinessWeek reported, “the fourth consecutive double-digit increase, according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE). And this could be only the beginning. By 2010, as the exodus of baby boomers from the workforce accelerates, census data suggest, two employees will be leaving for every new hire entering, and new college grads will be a precious commodity.”

Surprisingly, the U.S. State Department made the No. 6 spot, demonstrating that the most recent crop of graduates are not just looking internally for positions, but considering work from a global perspective. What fascinates grads about the possibility of working in federal service where the hours are long and the pay is low? Variety. Two things that draw grads are State’s training and travel programs.

While there’s a lot of competition for the jobs, and they require a great deal of in-class work after being hired. The life of a diplomat is varied and significant. New training programs offered at State include simulations of events that diplomats face in the field. Further, the diplomats get to travel and see the world on America’s dime, making the low pay not look too bad.