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Startups vs MNCs: What to choose for your first job?

Online Learning

Blog Date
February 9,

Anyone about to land their first job faces the confusion of choosing between a well-established MNC or getting themselves going with a unique startup idea that might blow up in the future. The decision between the two is tough as both are equally matched.  

Startups vs MNCs has always been a hot topic for economic forums that want to attract readers, but they end up increasing the confusion. This article is aimed at clearing this confusion and helping the students to make better decisions. 

But before jumping straight into the comparison, we first need to know the aspects of both fields, so let’s get started.

Check out: A guide to placement after doing an online degree

What is a startup?

As the name suggests, startups are businesses that are just starting up. Generally, startups begin with some unique ideas and end up hitting the market as a well-planned business model that aims at turning things around in their favor with their unique ideas and strategies that will help them to upscale themselves. They aim to take out the gaps present due to existing products in the market by filling them up with innovative and scalable ideas.

Startups make money by generating high evaluations based on the future demand and sales of their product, thus offering high returns on investments. Startups come with a lot of risk factors but are balanced out by the great perks they offer. While working for a startup company, you have excellent learning opportunities, get in-depth exposure to the industry, explore innovative business models, and many such advantages.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

What is an MNC?

An MNC or a Multi-National Company is a well-established forum that mainly operates from its country of origin and has its roots spread over the globe. MNCs are generally referred to as the corporate world. These are huge companies and are considered to be industry leaders. They already have a strong foundation and follow a certain set of rules and procedures for operating. Their work methodology is generally considered to be the opposite of the startup culture. 

MNCs work with predefined plans for everything, from production and marketing to sales and after-sales support. They stand on their norms and formality, which can bring innovation to a halt across the organization.

Thus, we can conclude that startups and MNCs are like parallel worlds. From work culture to objectives, they have nothing in common. We should head over to the differences between the two based on the pros and cons of the two domains.

Also read: Importance of career-readiness in online education

Advantages of working in a startup

  • Higher work exposure

While working for a startup, you are generally locked into a small team that handles the entire organization. Thus you get a chance to get your hands on a variety of work, which helps you gain experience in several domains at the same time. This multi-domain experience can come in handy while switching jobs. 

  • Work experience

Unlike MNCs, startups hire individuals at premier posts with little or no experience to test out the young minds, which is beneficial for both as they can have an individual handling a crucial post at relatively lower costs. This is one of the major reasons freshers opt for startups for their first job as MNCs demand prior experience while hiring at crucial posts. 

  • Work culture

Startups are generally preferred over corporates because of their employee-friendly work culture. You get the opportunity to directly collaborate with your seniors and some innovative minds on critical projects that add to your resume. 

Disadvantages of working in a startup

  • High-risk factor

It’s a bitter truth that not all startups work themselves to the top. The risk factor attached to any startup is very high. Thus, there is a very high chance that instead of doubling up your salary in the next year, the startup might just vanish and be nothing more than just ending up in the experience section in your CV and leaving you with a few learnings. 

  • Unpredictability 

This is one of the major problems faced by individuals while working in startups. They never just work on the job profile they were shown while hiring. They always have to perform something extra or completely switch their roles to support the organization. Thus, their actual role in the company is always unpredictable. 

  • Low salary

Most startups run into losses at the beginning of establishing their market presence. To compensate for the losses, they try to keep their internal costs minimum and thus hire lesser manpower at lower wages. So, if you can get yourself a ride right in the first year of your job, you might have to wait until the startup blows up or you switch your jobs. 

Advantages of working in an MNC

  • Stable work life

While working in an MNC, you don’t have to live in fear about your company shutting down every moment. While working in an MNC, you are assigned a specialized job role, i.e., you are assigned the work according to your expertise, which is a relief as it removes a lot of mental burdens and clears the confusion. 

  • Higher payouts and job security 

MNCs have a reputation for generally paying their employees consistently and in considerable amounts. Apart from the monthly payouts, there are perks provided on completing the company objectives and festive bonuses, which result in a considerably higher income than any startup can provide to a fresher.

Also, due to the predetermined job roles, there is less ambiguity and higher job security.  

  • Great work-life balance

As said earlier, MNCs work on a set of norms, and working hours for employees are no exception. MNCs operate on the set hours for the day; thus, the work-life balance for employees remains great. Thus, employees are left with plenty of time to plan something for their families.

Disadvantages of working in an MNC

  • Less innovation

Are you a person who likes challenging work conditions and is always in search of trying something new? Then the corporate is surely not for you. As mentioned earlier, corporate culture is centered on working around the assigned profile and generally doesn’t let you step out of your domain which can be a downside for many.

  • Slow career growth

Working for a big MNC is sure a big boost for anyone’s career. But this boost doesn’t last long as after working for a few years in the MNC, career growth becomes slow, and work starts to feel repetitive and boring, which can lead to downgraded performance and frustration. 

  • Work culture

The corporate work culture is one of the major reasons one might want to avoid joining an MNC. It expects one to be formal and systematic even in the smallest of tasks which might be annoying for some people. The constant knock of seniors makes you feel that you are nothing but an average employee in the company. It is one of the reasons that innovation has stalled in MNCs.  

What should you choose? 

Startups help you bring out the hidden innovation and talent in you, whereas MNCs help you further improve your skills in your field of expertise. There might even be some startups and MNCs that have taken measures to overcome their shortcomings, aiming to create a close-to-ideal work experience for their employees. 

The counters in the Startups vs MNCs debate from both sides are never-ending yet logical, which creates confusion among the graduates. Now you know the differences, pros and cons, the decision depends on your needs and preferences and, at last, where your heart takes you because if you aren’t interested in the work you are doing, it will downgrade your experience more than it might benefit you. 

Check out: Importance of placement services in bridging job-readiness gap

Role of Online Manipal in enhancing employability of learners

Online Manipal’s placement assistance services help in enhancing the employability of learners and make them ready for internships and job opportunities in startups as well as MNCs. Besides training its online learners on resume building, interview preparation, and skill enhancement, Online Manipal’s placement team also organizes virtual placement drives to connect job-ready learners to reputed organizations.


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • online degree
  • online education in India

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