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Defying the job-cutting trends across many industries, technology companies are offering attractive career prospects to college students.

Market leaders such as Facebook, Inc., which plans to hire 13.6 percent more interns this year than last year, are at the forefront of the new employment drive, according to The Wall Street Journal. Facebook plans to hire 625 interns this year.

Rosette Pyne, a Senior Associate Director at Career Services, feels this trend has impacted the opportunities available to Penn students. “We have definitely seen a significant increase in internship offers,” she said, adding that more technology positions have been offered across a variety of sectors, including start-ups, pharmaceuticals and finance.

Dropbox, Inc., is planning on hiring 30 engineering interns, more than three times as many as last year.

In the summer of 2011, Google hired 1,000 interns — 20 percent more than the previous summer — according to the Journal.

According to Career Services’ most recent Survey Reports, 88 Penn graduates from the Class of 2009 and 2010 reported starting technology jobs in 2010, 30 more than the year before.

Pyne said competition among firms to capture the best talent may be motivating them to offer more internships. “They want the best and brightest … who can make a difference,” she said, adding that more interns could act as student ambassadors for the business on campus, promoting awareness of the company.

Though reasons for this increase are not entirely clear, Pyne felt the upsurge in start-ups is fuelling growth in the technology field. “It started a couple of years ago,” she said, “when we found a venture capital company coming to campus for the first time with its portfolio of [start-up] companies.” Since then, she feels that at Penn, recruitment from start-ups has become increasingly common.

Pulak Mittal, an Engineering and Wharton sophomore who will intern at Facebook this summer, agreed. “Venture capital firms started off the tech internships,” he said. He added that now there are many technology companies looking to recruit. “There are many opportunities. A lot of people with strong skills do have a good chance of finding a good company.”

Others felt that the entrepreneurial spirit among many college students is the main attraction to start-up recruiters. “I know a lot of people doing computer science who are applying,” Logan Troppito, an Engineering junior, said. “I know several students trying to start [software products] on the side to see if it works,” she added. “If you have a great idea, you should go for it.”

While companies are claiming to hire more interns, some students are not convinced there has been change in the number of opportunities available.

“In terms of internships that are prestigious, guaranteed to be interesting, the number of opportunities is still limited,” Mittal said.

Rousseau Kazi, a senior at University of California Berkeley who will join Facebook as a Product Manager this summer, agreed. “Internships at firms like Google and Facebook are still very competitive to get,” he said. He added, “while there are more internships available, they won’t accept anyone who isn’t a very strong applicant, since they recruit internationals, too.”

Pyne, however, still has faith in the capabilities of Penn graduates. “Penn students are very good at sealing the deal,” she said, adding that “our students often get multiple offers to choose between.”

This article has been updated from a prior version to reflect that Pulak Mittal is a sophomore, not a senior, and that he did not intern at Facebook last summer, but will intern this summer.

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