In terms of 'prestige,' Google is now a 'tier two' employer, says recent comp sci grad

The internship20th Century FoxThis beanie just isn’t that prestigious anymore, says a recent grad.

In December, employee-reviews site Glassdoor published a list of the 50 best companies to work for.

The top tech company? Google.

Likewise, Google was number one on Fortune’s 2015 list of the 100 best companies to work for.

And yet, when Google offered a recent Carnegie Mellon engineer a job there, the new grad said no. This despite monthly compensation of $US9,000 per month, including a salary and a housing stipend.


In an email, this engineer gave us four reasons:

  • “Lower pay after tax. Housing stipend is taxed more, and several places pay more than Google. That being said, Google is still very competitive. Google’s full time offer is very average (105k starting salary) and the best startups pay more.”
  • “Less interesting work. It’s a large tech company. The impact I’d have is minimal.”
  • “Lower prestige. Outside of tech, and maybe within average CS students, Google is the place to go if you’re one of the smartest engineers. However, within top CS students, it’s not considered that great. Probably tier two in terms of prestige and difficulty to get an internship. I have lots of friends barely passing their CS courses that are interning there. Saying you intern at Google just doesn’t get you that much respect.”
  • “Less upside. For full time specifically, you get equity at a startup. If it IPOs, you make millions if you’re one of the first 100-1000 employees.”

The engineer reached out to us after reading a special report of ours, called “The truth about life in 2015 at Stanford, where 21-year-olds are offered hundreds of thousands of dollars right out of school.”

That story portrayed Google and Microsoft as places where many Stanford engineering students want to work.

This recent Carnegie Mellon grad wanted to make sure we understood that, actually, Google isn’t considered that cool anymore.

“I would not call Google/Microsoft the hardest tech companies to get into. Most of my friends there are sub 3.0 students. *But* they are still very good. “

Remember, these are the views of just one person. Google has thousands of people working for it. And it has thousands of people dying to work for it. So, take this with a pinch of salt. We just thought it was interesting.

We’d like to hear from more Googlers and almost-Googlers. Email [email protected]

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