Computer Science Students Face a Shrinking Big Tech Job Market

In the past, tech companies used their internship programs to recruit promising job candidates, extending offers to many students to return as full-time employees after graduation. But this year, those opportunities are shrinking.

Amazon, for instance, hired about 18,000 interns this year, paying some computer science students nearly $30,000 for the summer, not including housing stipends. The company is now considering reducing the number of interns for 2023 by more than half, said a person with knowledge of the program who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Brad Glasser, an Amazon spokesman, said the company was committed to its internship program and the real-world experience that it provided. 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 smaller tech firms. Roblox, the popular game platform, said it planned to hire 300 interns for next summer — almost twice as many as this year — and was expecting more than 50,000 applications for those spots. Redfin, which employed 38 interns this summer, said it had canceled the program for next year.

There are still good jobs for computing students, and the field is growing. Between 2021 and 2031, employment for software developers and testers is expected to grow 25 percent, amounting to more than 411,000 new jobs, according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But many of those jobs are in areas like finance and the automotive industry.

“Students are still getting multiple job offers,” said Brent Winkelman, chief of staff for the computer science department at the University of Texas at Austin. “They just may not come from Meta, from Twitter or from Amazon. They’re going to come from places like G.M., Toyota or Lockheed.”

College career centers have become sounding boards for anxious students on the cusp of entering the tech job market. In career counselors’ offices, the search for a Plan B has heightened.

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