The stories of techie college dropouts who have gone on to create multimillion dollar start-ups are Silicon Valley lore. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg. The list goes on and on, and tech companies today are paying big to find the next visionary.
In the fast paced world of technology, companies are looking, at risk of sounding tiredly cliché, for “the next big thing.” And they are willing to pay high prices. More and more tech start-up firms are luring bright college students to work for their firm- before they graduate college.
The huge technology boom created a shortage of engineers and software developers, and companies are eager to lock up the next great mind. As a result, companies are taking more creative and aggressive approaches to recruitment. In some ways, the rush for the latest new talent is not unlike the NBA or NFL draft. And many students are opting to go “pro.”
Companies are rolling out the red carpet on recruiting tactics, including wining and dining recruits at fancy restaurants, offering free goodies such as iPad raffles, cash giveaways, and plenty of free food. Google has started a student ambassador program in which college students are paid to recruit their peers to work for the company. Google plans to double that program from about 400 currently to 1,000 next year. Peter Thiele, a billionaire Facebook investor, started a fellowship program that offers 20 students $100,000 over two years to skip college and work on world-changing products.
They are compensated well for leaving their degree behind. According to the Wall Street Journal, starting salaries at leading companies for the average computer science grad at a top school ranges from $75,000 to $100,000, signing and relocation bonuses, and even equity grants. Many college students see it as a risk worth taking, given the large starting salary and opportunity to work for an exciting new start-up with some of the biggest names in the business.
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Source: Wall Street Journal.