Silicon Valley: Much young talent, many fewer jobs

Amalia, a student from Boston University and intern for Uber, at Internapalooza.
Lauren Thomas | CNBC

Technology companies are always looking for bright, young talent to fill entry-level positions, but as of late it's become more competitive to land a gig in Silicon Valley, with tech job postings in a slump, according to a report by Cameron Moll, CEO of tech job board site Authentic Jobs.

Forty percent fewer tech jobs were posted to his site in January 2016, compared to average postings during every January since 2012, Moll said. Further, he found job volume during April of this year to be half the volume of the same month last year, something Moll calls "bonkers."

While tech jobs might be harder to come by, the supply of young talent looking to work in Silicon Valley is greater than ever before. More than 5,000 college-aged students and interns registered for San Francisco's annual Internapalooza, which was held this year at AT&T Park due to record-breaking interest, the event's founder, Cory Levy, said.

"This is a positive sign for Silicon Valley, and it's awesome to see so much excitement," Levy said in an interview. "Silicon Valley is becoming a stronger, more diverse community, and the more smart people we can get in a room together, the more problems we can solve."

Levy, who also co-founded After School, a private social network for high school students, started Internapalooza six years ago after having a few positive internship experiences of his own. Levy developed relationships with the likes of Microsoft, BlackRock, eBay and Dropbox, all of which were present at Internapalooza last Monday night and are looking to fill positions in software engineering, business development, product management and design.

Michael, a student at Vanderbilt and intern at FSG consulting, trying out VR equipment at Internapalooza.
Lauren Thomas | CNBC

The attendees at the intern networking event hailed from dozens of different schools, with some of the largest feeders being UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Institute of Technology, Duke and the University of Pennsylvania. The most common college majors of the attendees include computer science, computer engineering, software engineering and marketing, a spokesperson for Internapalooza said.

Laura, an interactive design intern for Apple, said she was excited that night to see what Snapchat and Uber had to offer to females looking for a job in the industry. Drew, an intern at Adobe this summer, was interested in hearing from Google. Amalia, an intern at Uber, said her internship wasn't easy to come by, but she ultimately wanted to work at a "smaller, start-upy company," rather than starting somewhere big.

"There's great, top talent here," Peggy Hsu, a recruiter for Twilio, said at the event. She was also impressed by the diverse applicants in attendance. "More and more diverse applicants are looking to work for a company where they can do meaningful projects," she said. Twilio is looking to recruit interns earlier in the year now, in order to snag the most motivated students in what's becoming a contentious process.

Head of university recruiting for Twitter, Trier Bryant, also talked about the "competitive landscape" in landing a job in tech today. She advised interns to follow up with recruiters, continue to grow their networks and have a good attitude toward diversity in the workplace, in order to stand out from others applying for the same position.

Sixty percent of the registrants for Internapalooza were male, and 40 percent were female, which is the best representation of women that the event has seen yet, founder Levy said. Last year roughly 1,500 college students and interns attended the event, and the males far outnumbered the females, he added.

The interest is only growing, and the appeal in landing a job in the tech industry is stronger than ever before, despite what appears to be a recent slowdown in tech job postings. "The younger generation is motivated, hungry to learn and willing to learn from the ground up," Levy said. "The future of Silicon Valley is in good hands."