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December 12, 2012

Sometimes I wonder at the accusatory tone of certain articles.  Take, for instance, this one on Facebook.

After looking at the salaries of even the lowest people at Facebook, it’s easy to see why employees are happy there.

According to 28 reviews on Glassdoor, Facebook pays its average intern $5,602 per month.

That ends up being a base salary of about $67,000 per year. According to the Social Security Administration, that’s a good $25,000 more than the average US citizen makes, which is $42,976.

I have one thing to say about this: Capitalism is wonderful.

Go read the rest of the article, since they have some other salaries posted there.  To my quick scan, they look pretty acceptable for a technology-based degree in the Silicon Valley.  If you think it’s cheap to live there, you’d be out of your mind.

But really… to attract top talent, you have to be more than a pretty face.  While Facebook seems like an interesting company, there are plenty of start-ups and existing companies that have as good or better a value proposition, and a company is going to have to compete for top-tier talent.  Attracting interns with loads of cash is nice, since you’ll get a lot of motivated students, and you then have your pick of the ones that are good for both hiring, and then after they graduate.  It’s easy to hire a name and face that you already know, and it’s equally easy to want to be hired by a company you already know.

I have to admit that I’m still a bit shocked at how open younger kids are these days about how much they make, but that’s just me being old fashioned.  But beyond that, nothing shocks me.  People getting degrees in engineering and computer science are generally very bright and talented, as well as motivated by a passion for the technology they’re being hired to enable.  My company hired me at a good salary over two decades ago, and I worked like anything for many years because I was young and had the disposable time.  I won’t say that I’m motivated by money, but a kid from Southern Ohio sure got more than a fair shake in comparison to some of my peers.  I’d like to think that my work returned significantly more value to the company than they paid me, and most people at the company would agree.

So good on Facebook that they’re attracting the right talent.  I hope it keeps them viable, and drives even more enthusiasm for technology in the next generation.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 13, 2012 12:25 pm

    Hmmm….67 even seems low. I remember in the 90s as a fresh-faced intern for HP, having a salary of $48k/yr. But it was only a summer job. And you’re right, unless they are going to live in some hovel, they will need every cent of that money. I’m sure FB wants their interns to focus on their job, not on their living conditions.

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