Companies paying six-figure salaries to interns in intense competition for top candidates

ByRandall Yip KGO logo
Thursday, April 28, 2022
Intense competition for talent leads to six-figure internships
Many of these valuable internships are essentially on-the-job interviews for permanent positions.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Summer is just around the corner and that means many students are anxiously awaiting word about their summer internships.

In some fields, an internship can pay the equivalent of a six-figure annual salary.

Beyond the pay, the experts tell 7 On Your Side it can also lead to a full-time job, and even change the course of your career.

Jenna Yee accepted an internship with Salesforce in 2020.

"I will embrace any opportunity that is given to me and really go with those opportunities," Yee said.

Jenna Bousellam joined Roblox the same year, also as an intern.

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"I knew that it had to be an experience that would really decide like, what I wanted to do in the future," Bousellam said.

Both Jennas accepted positions at two of the highest-paying firms in the country.

A survey by Glassdoor found that this year Roblox is paying its interns a median monthly salary of $9,667. That's the highest in the country.

Salesforce is paying an average monthly salary of $8,167. That's the fourth highest -- not far behind Uber and Capitol One

"So industries like tech and finance are reaching out to try to build these connections with students before they graduate, because they realize how difficult it is to hire top talent," said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor.

He's not surprised both Jennas parlayed their internships into full-time jobs. Students should look at these internships as on-the-job interviews.

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The benefits consulting firm Forma says companies are creating a menu of perks employees can select, including help with paying student loan debt.

"I knew that since it was a company, like a really high growth stage, that there would be a lot of opportunities for me to grow my career," said Bousellam.

Applicants shouldn't be intimidated by the job description because competition for good talent is high.

"It's OK to apply to an internship, even if you don't necessarily meet 100% of the requirements, as long as you have some of the qualifications that can get you there," Zhao advised.

Yee's background is in computer science but Salesforce gave her an internship in infrastructure engineering.

"No clue what it was. I said you know what, I think it would be a good experience. Let's go for it," she said.

Many internships disappeared during the pandemic, but Glassdoor tells us they are starting to return.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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