Tech Employers are Paying Interns Huge Sums

If your company hosts interns every summer, you’ve no doubt had many internal discussions about how much to pay them. In fact, you might wonder how much other firms shell out for the privilege of having students walking the halls between June and August. Compared to other companies, how much is too little? How much is too much?

In a twist that will likely surprise nobody, the biggest tech firms pay interns enormous sums, according to new data from Glassdoor. In fact, these internships pay more (if you extrapolated them out to an annual salary) than most “typical” jobs in the United States.

An intern at Facebook, for example, can pull down a median monthly pay of $8,000. But other firms aren’t far behind: Amazon came in second with median monthly pay of $7,725, followed by Salesforce in third with $7,667, and Google in fourth with $7,500. Here’s the rest of the list:

Although finance firms such as Goldman Sachs also performed well (no surprise, given those companies’ cash flow and reputation for high salaries), tech definitely ruled. In order to build this list, Glassdoor used salary data reported by interns between March 2018 and the end of February 2019. 

“In today’s strong job market, it’s a great time for college students and recent graduates to enter the workforce and start their careers,” Glassdoor added. “With historically low unemployment rates and growing job counts, job seekers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to where they want to work and employers are willing to pay top dollar for roles and skills that are in high demand but short supply.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean your company needs to pay out such huge amounts for interns. But if you do hire a bunch of interns for the summer, or even the year, be prepared to actually teach them something about how the business works.

Many interns are coached to seek out informational interviews with influential people within an organization, for example, such as the managers of departments. If you’re in HR or recruiting, you can help facilitate these connections between interns and full-time employees.

If an intern has a good experience, they’ll no doubt talk about it with other students, parents, professors, everyone on their social-media lists, and so on. It’s good marketing for your firm, which is why it’s important to ensure they’re happy in the role.

Plus, today’s intern is potentially next year’s new employee. Watch to see if individual interns have the ability to succeed in a full-time role; they should demonstrate a solid mix of “hard skills” (such as coding or model-building) along with “soft skills” (such as persistence, intellectual curiosity, and communication). Are they listening in meetings, and melding with the culture? Do they offer opinions in a reasoned and considered way? Most of all, do they volunteer to help with projects, even if they’re not needed?

Remember, internships are meant as learning experiences—and the knowledge they earn is probably just as important as the paycheck they take home, no matter how large the latter.