Do You Earn More Than a Silicon Valley Intern?

by Derek Loosvelt | July 20, 2017

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Although, on average, interns are making a lot less than they did seven years ago, interns for Silicon Valley firms are making more than they did in recent years. And so, depending on where you sit on the earnings scale and where you are in your career, this is either encouraging news (if you're an engineering student) or discouraging news (if you're not in tech and are unhappy with your comp). In any case, here's what students are pulling down these days in their summer jobs. 

Average pay for college interns climbed to $18.06 per hour this year, but that is less than their predecessors earned in 2010, when wages are adjusted for inflation, according to a survey of paid positions released earlier this month from the National Association of Colleges and Employers ...
Interns in some fields aren’t hurting for cash, though. From 2011 to 2016, pay for software engineering interns in the San Francisco area climbed 15% to $6,250 a month, or roughly $39 per hour ... That is more than double the 6% climb in average paid-intern wages nationally over that period, not adjusted for inflation, according to pay levels tracked by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

That pretax $6,250 a month (a prorated $75,000/year salary) is about that same comp that interns at top Wall Street banks earn. Which is certainly nice, but considering the hours that interns put in (in some cases, north of 80/week) and that the average rent for one bedroom apartments in San Francisco and Manhattan is now well north of $3,000, that $75K isn't that nice.

 

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Speaking of Wall Street banks, they've had a tough time convincing the American people that despite that little financial crisis thing a few years back, they're generally a bunch of good guys (and a few girls).

Despite efforts by Wall Street firms to regain trust since the 2008 financial crisis, fewer than a third of Americans view the industry positively -- unchanged from 2009, according to the latest Bloomberg National Poll.
... the poll shows that Americans are much more likely to distrust billionaires than admire them, 53 percent to 31 percent. And just 31 percent look favorably on corporate executives and Wall Street.

However, the American people do sort of like one billionaire. At least, they did around the first week of November 2016.

President Donald Trump, the first billionaire to hold the office, has appointed two billionaires and at least a dozen millionaires with a combined net worth of about $6 billion to his cabinet. They include Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Small Business Administration chief Linda McMahon.

The tweeter-in-chief and his popularity (or unpopularity) aside, Wall Street is still fighting an uphill battle when it comes to the talent wars. While Silicon Valley firms are hardly seen as angels these days, especially this hard-driving firm, Wall Street's image is still a distant second to the Valley's. And this after many valiant efforts by top banks to clean up their acts and appeal to millennials by protecting weekends, improving promotion opportunities, supporting diversity, etc. Maybe the only thing big banks haven't yet tried is In-House All-You-Can-Eat Avocado Toast Tuesdays. Which, I guess, is worth a shot?

 

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As for those all-important hard-to-please millennials, Deloitte recently made a monumental move to appeal to the twenty-something and early-thirty crowd: the big accounting and consulting firm ditched its diversity networks. Indeed, Deloitte is putting an end to its longstanding affinity networks for women, minorites, and LGBT individuals, phasing out the networks over the next year and a half. The goal is to: 1) appeal to millennials who make up nearly 60 percent of Deloitte's staff and who "don't like demographic pigeonholes," and 2) get more old white guys into the diversity mix. 

After 24 years, WIN, the women’s initiative at Deloitte, will end. Over the next 18 months the company will also phase out Globe, which supports gay employees, and groups focused solely on veterans or minority employees. In their place will be so-called inclusion councils that bring together a variety of viewpoints to work on diversity issues ...
“By having everyone in the room, you get more allies, advocates, and sponsors,” Purushothaman says. “A lot of our leaders are still older white men, and they need to be part of the conversation and advocate for women. But they’re not going to do that as much if they don’t hear the stories and understand what that means.”

Whether or not this makes sense to you (I get it), it's a pretty bold move on Deloitte's part, and could result in other big employers of millennials following suit. However, Deloitte's main competitor, PwC, will not be among those who'll follow.

PwC LLP ... doesn’t plan to change its system of ERGs [Employee Resource Groups] focused on women and minorities. “Our affinity groups at PwC are focused on business outcomes and come together to sponsor events that provide cultural awareness, mentoring, and opportunities to network,” Lisa Ong, diversity director at PwC, said in a statement. “We believe there is tremendous value in also having individual ERGs to provide more leadership opportunities to their members.”

How about you, KPMG? EY? Maybe Wall Street firms should give this a try. This and the avocado toast?

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Filed Under: Internships | Job Search | Law | Salary & Benefits | Technology | Workplace Issues

Tags: deloitte | diversity | internships | millennials | wall street

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