The Education Appeal of Internships in IT
In the IT war for talent, an internship can sway the final outcome and provide excellent opportunities for hiring managers and employees alike to find the right fit. As an employer–you can freely observe the working performance and long-term potential of a candidate. A robust internship program may also enable you to:
- Compete for talent with less cost
- Better manage and develop new graduates
- Increase your companies visibility to better attract other talent
- Help the long-term development of your enterprises by retaining top talent
As a student or recent graduate, an internship is your opportunity to gain valuable, real-world experience. It’s critical that you’re able to practice and test your knowledge as an intern by applying the theory and curriculum you learned from your professional studies to solve complex problems. You will interact daily with experienced members in the field, which will help you network as you learn new insights on the job and improve your sense of the IT profession. In the past, the term “intern,” had many different connotations. Today and especially in the IT discipline–there’s fierce competition among employers to have the best internship programs to win the talent war and for students to be selected into those programs to springboard their careers. And the top internship programs are paying top dollar.
According to Glassdoor’s “25 Highest Paying Companies for Interns,” some interns earn more than $7,000 per month with IT companies. The top-three employers are:
- Palantir Technologies ($7,012 average monthly base pay)
Nineteen of the 25 highest paying companies are within the technology sector. With careful planning, students entering the workplace may easily earn $6,000 a month on internship wages.
Why is an IT internship worth so much? Not only is IT one of the best-paid career fields in recent decades, but it’s also one of the best for this with application-driven and problem-solving skills. The general trend in IT is a transition from the typical technology-driven model to a combination of application-driven and technology-driven models. For example, smart phones and tablets–devices that seamlessly combine the application and hardware–are ubiquitous and worldwide. An internship is a natural step to enter this combination of application and technology, and companies are willing to invest early to attract, develop, and retain the brightest minds in the field.
Top IT companies such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are among the 25 top-paying companies for interns. But, even if an internship in IT isn’t paying, the experience accumulated is priceless, and in the war of fighting for IT talent, experience in the field is what pays off in the long run for everyone.
About the Author
Dr. Jeff Wang is an associate professor in the Information Technology Department at American Public University (APU). He earned a Ph.D. in Physics-based Modeling and Visual Computing from George Mason University in 1998. He is a senior member of ACM and IEEE.