In 2006, Google bought YouTube for quite $1 billion, Apple was preparing to announce the primary iPhone, and therefore the American housing bubble began to deflate. Claire Stapleton, then a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, faced an equivalent question over and over: What did she decide to do thereupon English degree
, Ms. Stapleton said, she “won ‘American Idol.’” the corporate flew her bent Mountain View, Calif., which felt to her “like the promised land” — 15 cafeterias, beach volleyball courts, Zumba classes, haircuts, and laundry on-site.
But for Ms. Stapleton, now 34, the important appeal during a job at Google was what appeared to be an ideal balance of working for income and consistent with one’s conscience. Naturally, she said yes to a suggestion within the corporate communications department.
“There was this ambient glow of being a part of a corporation that was changing the planet,” Ms. Stapleton said. “I was totally googly-eyed about it.”
More than a decade later, college seniors and up to date graduates trying to find jobs that are both principled and high-paying do so during a world that has soured on Big Tech.
Many students still see employment in tech as a ticket to prosperity, except for job seekers who can afford to be choosy, there’s a growing sentiment that Silicon Valley’s most lucrative positions aren’t well worth the ethical quandaries.
“Working at Google or Facebook appeared like the good thing ever my freshman year, because you’d get paid plenty of cash but it had been socially responsible,” said Chand Rajendra-Nicolucci, 21, a senior at the University of Michigan. “It was sort of a utopian workplace.”
Now, he said, “there’s more hesitation about the moral qualities of those jobs. It’s like how people check out Wall Street.”
Still Got That College Spirit
Anna Geiduschek, a programmer who graduated from Stanford in 2014, was performing at Dropbox last year when she received an email from an Amazon Web Services recruiter. She replied that she wouldn’t consider employment with the corporation unless Amazon cut its contract with Palantir.
“These companies leave of their thanks to attempting to woo software engineers, and that I realized it might send a strong message on behalf of me as a possible employee to inform them no,” Ms. Geiduschek, 27, said, noting that top tech companies sometimes spend roughly $20,000 to recruit one engineer. “You could basically cut them off at their supply.”
Good Luck Changing the Culture
For years, students were told they might tackle ethical concerns about technology from within, working within the mammoth structures of companies like Google. Ms. Stapleton said that was a part of the company’s allure: its ostensible commitment to empowering even its youngest employees to weigh in on critical problems.
Her weekly emails to staff, she said, were the things of corporate legend. At a 2012 all-hands, Larry Page, one among the company’s founders, called her on stage to celebrate her work as colleagues presented her with a wooden plaque that read: “The Bard of Google.”
Google maintained that Ms. Stapleton wasn’t sidelined for her role within the walkout. “We thank Claire for her work on Google and need her all the simplest,” a Google spokesperson responded. “To reiterate, we don’t tolerate retaliation. Our employee relations team did a radical investigation of her claims and located no evidence of retaliation. They found that Claire’s management team supported her contributions to our workplace, including awarding her their team Culture Award for her role within the Walkout.”