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Cool Factor: Google, Apple, Facebook and ... Which Agencies?

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It's not surprising that young workers in the United States would pick Google, Apple and Facebook among places they would most like to work. What may be surprising is that they also rated three federal agencies highly: the State Department, the FBI and the CIA.

But that's what a new survey of young workers shows. The Wall Street Journal reports that research firm Universum surveyed 6,700 early-career professionals, defined as college graduates under 40 with one to eight years work experience, for their views on the best places to work. Here are their top 10 rankings:

  1. Google 19.67%
  2. Apple 12.74%
  3. Facebook 8.90%
  4. U.S. Department of State 7.89%
  5. The Walt Disney Company 7.67%
  6. Amazon 6.63%
  7. FBI 6.59%
  8. Microsoft 5.76%
  9. Sony 5.14%
  10. Central Intelligence Agency 5.04%

Of course, the agencies that made the list tend to have a reputation for challenging, world-changing work. And they, along with other government organizations, may be viewed as safe havens in an uncertain economy: "Stability is still very much a concern and people equate government jobs with stability," Universum's Chris Cordery told the Journal.

Still, with the country's political class working overtime to tarnish government's reputation, results like these are an encouraging sign that some agencies still have strong brands in the public eye.

Tom Shoop is executive vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees editorial operations at Government Executive, Nextgov, Defense One and Route Fifty. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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