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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.
    • by reanjr (588767)

      What?

      Not in the US. IQ tests are not uncommon here. There's a social stigma against using them, but there's nothing even close to a ban.

      • 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 ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:33PM (#47411657)

        but there's nothing even close to a ban.

        The Supreme Court of the United States [wikipedia.org] disagrees with you.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Selling to schools, parents and teachers?
      Just as a search engine brand likes do deals with US government agencies directly...subcontractor like
      Why not do do deals with US educational institutions directly...
      You need lobbying, sales reps... partnerships with established contractors and end up with partnerships that range from a few thousand dollars to multiple millions.
    • by dbIII (701233)

      and he has to use the proxy of SAT scores

      Which, though still flawed, are a vastly better way of measuring ability to reason than IQ tests and more difficult to game.
      Raising your IQ is easy - just do a lot of IQ tests as practice. Raising your actual intelligence is a lot harder.

      • and he has to use the proxy of SAT scores

        Which, though still flawed, are a vastly better way of measuring ability to reason than IQ tests and more difficult to game.
        Raising your IQ is easy - just do a lot of IQ tests as practice. Raising your actual intelligence is a lot harder.

        Huh? The exact opposite is true. There's a reason why we have a vast industry devoted to coaching kids on the SAT -- it's a very easy test to coach, and there are ridiculous numbers of practice tests out there.

        On the other hand, there are a number of different IQ tests, with very different forms and types of activities (from "culture-free" abstract tests like Raven's progressive matrices to stuff that looks like old SAT tests with a lot of abstract verbal things like analogies and antonyms and such).

        T

        • Due to being in a different place and quite a few years older than most here it appears I misunderstood "SAT scores" to be equivalent to an accurate measure of high school achievement averaged over at least two years. Other places do not do a single test.
          So I'd better update my statement to make things more clear.

          Raising your score in a single type of test is easy - just do a lot of that sort of test as practice. Raising your actual intelligence is a lot harder.

          Real IQ tests aren't like most of the stupid

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      So why does facebook look like it was designed by people with average or lower IQs?

      There are schools much cheaper than the Ivy Leagues with an equivalent education and that's where I'd expect smart kids to go.

      As for quitting school to get an above average salary, that's just stupid. That salary is not for life, and that salary is not even competitive for professional programmers in the region. The reason they're hiring high school kids instead of professionals is because the kids are cheap (and because Zu

      • There are schools much cheaper than the Ivy Leagues with an equivalent education and that's where I'd expect smart kids to go.

        At Ivy League, you're not paying for the education. You're paying for networking. And for making an impression at HR types who don't care about education, but reputation.

        After all, one of those degrees is the best university degree that money can buy.

        As for quitting school to get an above average salary, that's just stupid. That salary is not for life, [...]

        But job experience is. And from a certain point on, you will get hired for that. Though you're learning a lot of basic stuff for your formal degree that WILL be actually helpfull and a degree is a ticket into your first few jobs. And it's something that can't b

    • So, put high IQ society membership on resume? Probably would turn off some people, but it sounds like Zuckerberg would like it.

  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @07:50PM (#47411419)
    why not nerds?
    • by slew (2918) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:34PM (#47411665)

      Yes, but 13yo actors and athletes need special work permits and still need to attend to school whilst working.

      In many localities, they must have part of their earnings put directly into trust funds (e.g., a Coogan account in California) so neither they or their parents will blow all the money on something, or up something...

      Also, when the sums of money are large enough, many reputable employers require profession agent representation (so they don't claim to have been taken advantage of and sue later).

      I doubt any of these internet companies are doing any of these even minimal best-practices/policies for these 13yo nerds (and these minimal things don't even prevent the Lindsey Lohans and Tracy Austins of the world)...

      • by russotto (537200)

        Yes, but 13yo actors and athletes need special work permits and still need to attend to school whilst working.

        These are summer internships; school is not an issue.

        In many localities, they must have part of their earnings put directly into trust funds (e.g., a Coogan account in California) so neither they or their parents will blow all the money on something, or up something...

        Four states, but the Coogan requirements in California and New York at least are specific to child performers, not all minors.

        I doubt

  • Children used to have a childhood. If they're not busting their guts for standardized testing, they're being recruited for technology companies. Parents can do only so much about standardized testing, but they can push back against recruiters storming the school gate for future employees. If technology companies want these kids so badly, they can wait until the senior year of high school to host job fairs and scholarships.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      yes they did for a VERY VERY BRIEF PERIOD, pre WWII little billy went to the saw mill before school and on weekends to earn the family a couple bucks, your dream like state of euphoria in suburbia only happened for a few decades, every other year recorded in history childeren worked to help support the family.

  • What, did you think Google was putting tens of millions into IT education for philanthropic purposes?

    Aaaahahahahaha! Hahahahaha!

    ahh

    sigh

    Haaaaaaahahahaha! ...yeah they're planning to strip mine up and coming generations.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      nothing wrong with that, most the population finds good jobs are very hard to come by. The real unemployment rate in the USA (using system bls used in the 1980s is almost 25%, Depression level. A corporate droid job is better than no job

      • Oh get fucked asshole, this isn't about playing fair and providing jobs, its about corporate profits: http://pando.com/2014/03/22/re... [pando.com]

        • by iggymanz (596061)

          Grow up, nothing is fair in this world. Of course employers make a profit if they are to survive. People work for money, the employer makes a profit on their work. that's how making a living works. that's how businesss works.

      • by creimer (824291)
        My last corporate droid job ended with the Fortune 500 CEO giving himself a 66% raise and laid off 10% of the workforce for having a lousy fiscal year. I guess he needed a new yacht more than I needed to pay my more mundane bills. Eight months and 60+ job interviews later, I'm working for the federal government. Oy!
        • by iggymanz (596061)

          the federal government does even worse things than that fortune 500 company. and they have their massive layoffs too.

          but federal government job better than no job. world isnt good and it's not fair

      • Good jobs are available to those that can offer themselves as good employees. You're not owed good job you merit one.
  • For IT jobs HS + on the job and or with an trade / tech / CC is all that should be needed.

    • but after 20+ years competing head on with cheaper Indian, Malaysian and Chinese tech workers it's more like BS + on the job + maybe a few years working for free at an internship and your dad knows a guy...

      Don't like it? Form a Union and get organized or get another line of work.
  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Tuesday July 08, 2014 @08:45PM (#47411741) Homepage
    Well when you cannot poach employees, you need to get to them first.
    • ...Facebook Campus tour guide enters the room: "and this is where we harvest our future employees" ...robots whirl around and push nutrients into sacs.

  • Tech / IT needs an apprenticeship system that can tech real skills, have on the job / hands on learning / and at least some oversight.

  • 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.
  • I mean it's obviously foolish to not get some proper education, and at companies you typically only learn how not to do it. A formal education can bring you the inspiration and time to become a decent programmer.

    However, currently there is the rare chance of a second ".com"-bubble. Companies are hiring just about anybody and paying them insane amounts of money. It's like in that old documentary I've seen about Netscape where they all thought they'd be great... but if you look at the actual product you'll fi

  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @06:55AM (#47413829)

    Tech companies want to make sure the Zuckerbergs make a gazillion dollars, but tech wages get driven down. 501(C) organization like FWD.us are all about getting "immigration reform" which includes a lot more H1B, which means you distort the intellectual capital market by bringing in more workers and thus driving down pay. Why pay money to an american with school loans when you can lobby government to get someone who can work for less as an H1B serf.

    Paying kids is a new twist on this game. So, why even pay people who have careers, lets pay our employees even less by hiring children?

    It is a race to the bottom, and make no mistake, it is so the rich can get richer. I don't want to sound like an "occupy wall street" loony, but don't workers deserve reward for their work just as much as industrialists. 40 years ago, CEOs only made a few hundred times more than their average employee, and that was scandalous.

    These guys complain about the "economy," but that facts are clear, the U.S. economy was better when we had more wealth distribution, stronger unions, and a growing middle class. They want us to be China, and unless we figure out how to stop it, we will be.

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