WonderBench Mark – January 2020

“We must open the doors of opportunity. But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

As we begin the new year and decade, we take a look at college student internship & post graduation job availability in the San Francisco Bay Area.

See the Shortage
First to get a bearing, consider the U.S. ratio of college students to internships.

Sources: Statistica, Forbes

U.S. Students (~20M) outnumber internships (~1-2M) on a ratio of ~13:1. In light of recent findings from Forbes that internship experience can outweigh academic credentials, 8 out of 10 students may be working through another case of FOMO.

Now, consider the San Francisco Bay Area with its ~234,000 college students. Here in January during the early internship posting season as many students are beginning to actively pursue an internship, Indeed and LinkedIn combine for ~3,000 Bay Area positions.

If the U.S. ratio serves as a guide and applying a conservative 80,000 internship cap, we might ultimately expect to see ~18,000 (=234,000/13) internships as a minimum healthy threshold (green min in chart) to support our thriving high tech economy and job market.

Estimates based on Indeed / LinkedIn San Francisco Internship postings 1.22.2020

While it’s early in the year and other job boards may support a larger number of posted positions, current internship supply is currently running low. Debt-laden students are clamoring for these coveted spots. In reviewing job titles, even though the largest group of college students are business majors, we note that nearly 50% of the available internships are technical – engineering (1st place) and software roles (2nd place). Marketing comprises ~17% of internships in the 3rd place.

Source: Estimates based on Indeed / LinkedIn Internship Postings 1.22.2020.

San Francisco and San Jose top the list of Bay Area city locations and top 10 hosting companies including Tesla, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, and Google among others comprise ~20% of all internship positions.

Initiate the Infusion
In upcoming editions of the Wonderbench Mark, we will do our best to track newly posted Bay Area positions, but the current data suggest the Bay Area lags the country in its ratio impacting both students and businesses. While leading companies have programs in place, others should consider moving quickly during this early phase of internship hiring season to attract and recruit talent for the summer and beyond.

Power the Pivot
Looking ahead to the job market post graduation, based again on LinkedIn and Indeed postings, we note a healthier job market of 60,000-90,000 entry level and intermediate positions paying ~>$50K. Once again, technical positions (engineering and software development) comprise 50-60% of available jobs – a proportion similar to that of internships. Excluding technical positions, sales jobs, somewhat surprisingly, comprise nearly 1/3 of the remaining posted positions.

Source: Estimates based on Indeed / LinkedIn full-time entry level/intermediate jobs >$50K annual salary postings 1.22.2020

Neither student college major choices nor college internship experiences directly guide or prepare most students for an early career in sales post graduation. Who is helping companies and students prepare for success in what may have been an unanticipated early career field?

Once again, larger companies have taken a lead in partnering with select universities in fast-growing Affiliate Global Sales Leadership and Professional Sales Institute programs. While some may lament the further commercialization of the University, it’s clear that companies outside of such programs will need to find a way to work together with students to pivot as they reorient to this job market reality post graduation. In our discussions with graduating students, many are attending universities without such training programs. As much as this change might catch them by surprise, we see our students open to coaching, adapting quickly, and boldly positioning themselves to enter the job market. They are savvy, flexible and ready to pivot with a smile – and with our help.

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