Tech interns making big moolah at top companies

By Robert Lawson, Tech Times | July 10, 7:47 AM

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Tech interns at top companies in Silicon Valley are getting younger. They are also making more money.
(Photo : LinkedIn)

It's not just the People's Republic of China  recruiting young tech gurus at premium prices. Tech interns are making more money and are being recruited at younger ages than ever in Silicon Valley.

Companies are reportedly paying high salaries and a lot of perks in their attempts to hire the youngest and brightest minds for their firms.

Some of these young tech junkies are paid nearly $7,000 per month plus benefits, according to reports. Facebook reportedly recruited a young Michael Sayman to code at Menlo Park. The 17-year-old was flown to the company's headquarters. He got Facebook's attention after he used some of its developer tools to create the popular 4Snaps game. Sayman was thrilled to meet Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in person.

"When I got the e-mail saying -- oh, my God -- Mark Zuckerberg wants to meet you, I had to make sure nobody was playing a prank on me," Sayman told reporters. "It was just incredible to be able to meet him."

Sayman has an amazing story, too. He has reportedly been helping support his family since he was 13 years old, coding mobile apps. His mother told reporters that he has helped the family ever since it began experiencing financial troubles.

Stories like this imply a significant shift in the way interns are selected. First off, interns no longer need to be college students, as one report points out.

Companies like LinkedIn are looking to convert high school-aged kids into full-time staff members. Some are critical and say that interns as young as 15 (or even younger, in at least one reported case) making these large salaries can bring about disaster. Justin Bieber was cited as an example, although Bieber is an entertainer, not a tech intern.

Google, according to reports, does not hire interns precollege. According to reports, LinkedIn began its campaign to hire young interns a couple years ago and Facebook started this year.

Perks at some of these firms include free housing and free transportation, in addition to the fat salaries.

One of the major reasons for this phenomenon is the way in which technology has enabled young people to teach themselves relevant skills without going to college. This may also have other implications for the workforce as well.

Some may decide to skip college or they may be encouraged to finish a degree after getting real-world experience.

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