Much has been made about media internships and their ability to make you destitute. Conde Nast—which owns GQ, Vanity Fair, and dozens of other media properties—recently shut down its internship program after former interns successfully contended their unpaid work was illegal. The same happened to Fox Searchlight.
The irony of it all was a little rich. Many publications that used unpaid interns, like Mother Jones, lean left and have written before about unfair labor practices; they’ve now been called out for essentially turning college kids into indentured servants. (Mother Jones even asked their interns to apply for fucking food stamps.) Those days, though, are done. The recent court cases will scare more places into cutting their unpaid internship programs, and the lowly-paid intern will probably go the way of the dodo.
Which is a long way of saying there still are more than a few internships that will pay you. A lot. As with most things in life, a computer science degree doesn’t hurt, nor does the willingness to do a bit more than fetch coffee for your boss.
According to Glassdoor, which recently ranked the highest-paying internships for 2014, software company Palantir pays its summer interns an average monthly base pay of $7,012, which comes out to $84,144 for the year. That’s over 30 grand more than the average American takes home a year for his or her full-time job—which means Billy the intern is buying ALL THE SHOTS senior year.
And Palantir isn’t alone in paying its interns a king’s ransom. Twitter pays $6,791 per month, and Facebook just a few bucks less: $6,213. Last on Glassdoor’s list of 25, oil services company Schlumberger, pays its interns the equivalent of $55,608 for the year, which is still more than the average American’s pay.
Then there are the perks: subsidized housing at Microsoft and Facebook and elsewhere, free lunch and snacks more or less everywhere, and, of course, the opportunity to find full-time employment at the end of your summer.
Do the interns deserve to make Jordan Belfort money at such a young age? Yeah, probably. At Google and Exxon and elsewhere, it’s not unusual to see interns work 70+ hour weeks and of course investment banks—which don’t even really show up on this list—famously will work their rising seniors to the breaking point. (I once saw a buddy take a phone call to go into work at 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday. He was around 12 beers deep. This is not an unusual sight.)
So yeah, if you’re working like a full-timer, you should get paid almost as much as a full-timer. Or at least something. That seems only fair.
Follow Andy on Twitter —> @andykmoore
[H/T: CNET; Photo: Pressmaster/Shutterstock]