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US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger) 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-oughta-be-a-law-enforcing-the-laws-we-already-have dept.
ShaunC writes: Is there a glut of qualified American tech workers, or isn't there? Some companies like Facebook and Airbnb are now actively courting and recruiting high school students as young as 13 with promises of huge stipends and salaries. As one student put it, "It's kind of insane that you can make more than the U.S. average income in a summer." Another who attended a Facebook-sponsored trip said he'd "forego college for a full-time job" if it were offered. Is Silicon Valley taking advantage of naive young workers?
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US Tech Firms Recruiting High Schoolers (And Younger)

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  • by glennrrr (592457) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @07:35PM (#47411319)
    Mark Zuckerberg got into Harvard, he recruits heavily from people who got into Ivy League schools. Why? Because IQ tests are banned for employment purposes, and he has to use the proxy of SAT scores which allowed people to get into competitive schools. Any actual benefit of attending said schools is purely secondary. Here he's found another way to find the smart kids, and they don't have to spend $30,000 a year to prove they are smart kids. It's a win, win.
  • Re:Not new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @07:44PM (#47411379) Journal

    In 1999, my company offered an 18 year old summer intern a programming job. He turned us down to attend college. Spending 4 years doing calculus and reading The Count of Monte Cristo was not going to improve his earnings potential. Spending 4 years in a real office doing real programming would have improved his earnings potential.

    Short term. But when he tried to change jobs, he'd find a lot of opportunities closed to him because just about every company wants a degree. I've known a number of non-degreed programmers who have gone back to get one for that reason.

    Quitting school to found a startup might make sense; at least it's honest gambling. Quitting school to take a regular job doesn't; the job or one like it will still be there when you graduate.

  • Re:Not new (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @07:52PM (#47411433)

    For every 1999 there's a 2001. Jobs like that tend to get either very competitive or just abandoned when the market contracts. Or they just replace you with some other youngin', since that seems to be the way that job segment is working.

    Calculus + coding = Job for life, it's a combo that works really well and it's a market where age adds, rather than subtracts, value.

  • by Moof123 (1292134) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:01PM (#47411481)

    It may not have changed his earning potential, but it greatly improves his opportunities if your company lays him off, goes bust, or just sucks. Having a degree on your resume is often needed just to get past the HR filter. I've met several folks who did very well despite their lack of degrees, and all want their kids to get one. You have to really sell yourself and rely on luck much more to get that next good job if you do not have a degree.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:14PM (#47411549) Journal

    IQ tests would pretty much fall under aptitude tests which under tort law seems to have been banned. It's also why a high school diplomas became necessary for trivial jobs- if someone had a high school diploma they met certain minimum job requirements. This also led to the schools becoming training camps for local employment opportunities also.

    Employers used to give aptitude tests before everyone graduated high school or even before schools had real standards for a diploma. Eventually, these aptitude tests were applied to discriminate against people based on race or sex and so on and there were quite a few lawsuits over it that with employers losing. I believe the big one was Griggs v. Duke Power Co 1971 and there is a history after that including addressing a ruling in the 1991 civil rights act.

    It's not specifically barred- but there is a high risk of being sued over their use- especially if the employment space is not diverse enough to "prove" they are unbiased (quotas).

  • by creimer (824291) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:13PM (#47411897) Homepage
    I worked at a Fortune 500 company that refused to train to workers because they would get certified and make more money at a competitor. Never mind that most people got frustrated from the lack of training, trained themselves and got certified on their own time, and made more money at a competitor. Corporate dysfunction at its best.
  • by silvermorph (943906) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @09:48PM (#47412095)
    I wasn't ecstatic about all the non-major courses I had to take when my primary worry was getting a programming job after I got my degree, and I might have taken an $100K out if it was available. But now 10-15 years later I'm glad I that my formal education included a psychology class, a statistics class, a history class, and others. Maybe I would have picked all that up on my own, or maybe I'd have a giant black hole in my world view.

    There's a training side to education and there's a wisdom side to education, and they're both important in the long run. Telling young people to get jobs right out of high school because being well-rounded isn't necessary for "smart" people just means it's going to be a crap shoot as to whether their decisions repeat history or learn from it.

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