Computer science students face a shrinking high-tech job market
Amazon, for example, hired about 18,000 interns this year, paying some computer science students nearly $30,000 for the summer, not including housing allowances. The company now plans to more than halve the number of interns for 2023, said a person with knowledge of the program who was not authorized to speak publicly.
Learn about big tech
- Microsoft: The company’s $69 billion deal for Activision Blizzard, which hinges on securing approval from 16 governments, has become a test of whether tech giants can buy companies amid a backlash.
- Apple: Apple’s largest iPhone factory, located in the city of Zhengzhou, China, is facing a labor shortage. Now that factory is getting help from an unlikely source: the Chinese government.
- Amazon: The company appears set to lay off around 10,000 people in corporate and tech jobs, in what would be the biggest cuts in company history.
- Meta: Facebook’s parent company said it was laying off more than 11,000 people, or about 13% of its workforce
Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesperson, said the company is committed to its internship program and the real-world experience it provides. A Meta spokeswoman referred to a letter to employees from Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, announcing the company’s layoffs last month.
Hiring plans are also changing at small tech companies. Roblox, the popular gaming platform, said it plans to hire 300 interns for next summer — almost twice as many as this year — and expects more than 50,000 applications for those spots. Redfin, which employed 38 interns this summer, said it has canceled the program for next year.
There are still good jobs for computer science students, and the field is growing. Between 2021 and 2031, employment for software developers and testers is expected to increase by 25%, or more than 411,000 new jobs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics projections. But many of those jobs are in fields like finance and the automotive industry.
“Students always get multiple job offers,” said Brent Winkelman, chief of staff for the computer science department at the University of Texas at Austin. “They may not come from Meta or Twitter or Amazon. They will come from places like GM, Toyota or Lockheed.
College career centers have become sounding boards for anxious students about to enter the tech job market. In the offices of guidance counsellors, the search for a plan B has intensified.
Some students apply to lesser-known tech companies. Others seek tech jobs outside of industry, with retailers like Walmart or with government agencies and nonprofits. Graduate studies are also an option.
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