In case you were feeling a bit too content with your life and career choices today, here’s a list of the pay packages that tech firms are apparently offering software engineering interns these days, which has been making the rounds this afternoon thanks to Twitter. Between salary and housing stipends, $9,000 to $10,000 a month isn’t abnormal, apparently. The lowest number on the list: $7,000 a month, which annualizes to $84,000 per year.
About the source: This list was originally compiled by a 19-year-old intern-to-be who solicited numbers from Reddit, colleagues, and other contacts.* So the data might not quite be up to Woodward and Bernstein’s standards. But the salaries aren’t much more outrageously high than what’s previously been published. Given the never-ending competition for top talent in the tech world, it’s not surprising to see market rates escalating.
And aside from the slight sting of knowing a Fitbit intern is probably earning more than you, that’s not such a terrible thing. There are lots of people in the world whose pay should be a matter of public concern. Corporate CEOs. Wall Street types who will risk blowing up the financial system in pursuit of a bonus. Unpaid interns who do real work for free while real entry-level jobs disappear. It’s fine to fret about all of them. But if anything, we should celebrate the fact that tech companies are paying their interns in line with normal employees. And, as I’ve written before, it’s not uncommon for summer recruits in other high-pay, high-competition industries like law and finance to make significant amounts of money. In fact, the highest paid internship on that list isn’t at a traditional tech company at all; it’s at Jane Street Capital, a proprietary trading firm. (Think of a hedge fund without clients. Instead, they just trade their own money.)
Anyway, not every intern is getting paid pennies to fetch coffee. And that’s a good thing.
*Correction, Nov. 26, 2014: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the author of the list was anonymous. The list was compiled by a 19-year-old intern-to-be who first shared it publicly on Facebook.