Just like with staffing agencies, there is no shortage of mud slung at Amazon for its employment practices. But is it true that its entry level jobs are bridges to nowhere?
I don't think so. Here's why. Almost all entry level work is unpleasant and poorly compensated. But if you look hard enough and work hard enough, those entry level jobs will lead to much better things.
This is true by the way for both the top and the bottom ends of the pay scale. Take attorneys from top schools for example. They begin their careers - assuming they are lucky to do so - working humiliatingly long hours under constant pressure for years before breaking into any partner level pay and status.
Myself, I began my software coding career in a scuzzy, broom-closet like atmosphere at the United Airlines Maintenance Operation Center in San Francisco making not much more than minimum wage. But the people I got to work with taught me what I needed to move up.
Amazon is also by all accounts a gritty place to get your start, but what you experience there is a way of working like no other that you can take and shop elsewhere.
Here's a post and comment thread about Amazon and its hiring practices that develops this notion.