How your internship program can compete against tech giants

It’s that time of year again: The temperatures are rising, schools are out, and internships are blooming.

With many school programs wrapped up for the summer, there’s a slew of students with a lot more free time on their hands.

While you’ll want to check with HR about intern policies at your company – since internships can result in a legal mess if done improperly – you might also want to scope out what the competition is paying interns.

Competing with Silicon Valley and New York prices

Career site Glassdoor examined internship postings and aggregated a list for the highest paid internships being offered for 2017, based on median monthly pay:

  1. Facebook – $8,000
  2. Microsoft – $7,100
  3. Salesforce – $6,450
  4. Amazon – $6,400
  5. Apple – $6,400
  6. Bloomberg – $6,400
  7. Yelp – $6,400
  8. Yahoo – $6,080
  9. VMware – $6,080
  10. Google – $6,000
  11. Nvidia – $5,770
  12. Intuit – $5,440
  13. Juniper Networks – $5,440
  14. Workday – $5,440
  15. Adobe – $5,120

These prices may seem high, but don’t be discouraged. Often, these top-level internship are being presented to PhD students in the process of working through their theses. Plus, not every student can afford to live where these major tech firms are.

There are many ways you can still appeal to local students out for the summer. For starters, make the position more than making copies or running out for coffee, even if it’s desperately needed some mornings.

Example, if you have an incident response policy in place, you can have an intern go through the contacts list to make sure everyone is still available at the listed phone numbers and emails. The intern learns a valuable lesson about preparedness, another side of IT that often gets overlooked even by seasoned pros.

Next, make sure the intern is set for success by pairing them with a willing (keyword: willing) staffer who stands as an example for how to make it in the fast-pace tech world. The intern can ask the staffer questions, and meanwhile the staffer is learning some key managerial skills to bring back to the company.

You can also appeal using your local amenities, like nearby quaint parks and less traffic than San Francisco.

Lastly, you can broaden your pool considerably by picking up talent others might overlook as someone to hire. You’re already looking at students who don’t have degrees, so why not open the position up to anyone who has that passion and drive to learn about IT?

After all, skills can be trained and learned as new technologies develop, but a desire to be involved in information technology can’t be measured in years or degrees.