US employees: 32,160
Last year's worldwide job growth: 17 percent
Most common job/Avg. salary for job: Software engineer/ $132,004
Cisco Systems, ranked sixth by Fortune, is a network-equipment provider that pays attention to its employees' ideas. Its chief executive officer, John Chambers (pictured), recently started a blog, On My Mind, that calls for staff suggestions. Cisco is based in San Jose, Calif., but its third-largest plant, with 1,495 employees, is in Boxborough.