WHY FACEBOOK HOLDS THE FIRST-PLACE TITLE FOR THE SECOND YEAR AND WHAT THE REST OF THE BEST COMPANIES OFFER WELL BEYOND MAKING COPIES.

You won’t see interns at any of these 25 companies fetching coffee, doing data entry, or providing mind-numbing support work. The top internship programs in America in 2015 instead provide eager students and recent graduates real-world experience alongside talented coworkers and superiors.

Glassdoor’s 25 Highest Rated Companies for Internships, released today, is based on reviews provided by current and former interns. In order to qualify, companies must have received a minimum of 20 internship reviews on the site in the past 12 months, and must be actively hiring interns.

According to Glassdoor jobs data, there are more than 27,500 open internships across the United States, 2,500 of which are based in New York and another 1,500 based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

FACEBOOK DEFENDS THE TITLE

Leading the pack for the second year in a row is Facebook, where interns are paired with a mentor, treated like regular employees, and regularly see the impact of their efforts on important projects.

“Ultimately the biggest benefits that we have here is the people; they’re going to be surrounded by the smartest people in the industry, and the projects they’re working on; they’re going to be able to come here and make a huge impact,” says Hyla Wallis, Facebook’s intern program manager. “There aren’t interns that are working on some project that’s just going to get thrown out when they leave, they’re working on a project that otherwise a full-time member of their team would be working on.”

Wallis adds that internships are only offered if there is an opportunity for full employment following the internship term. Upon accepting their offer, interns are added to a Facebook group where they can immediately begin interacting with fellow interns, coworkers, and managers before arriving on the first day. As with any Facebook employee, interns are oriented through a weeklong training program before joining a team to work on vital projects, and are asked for regular feedback in order to help improve the internship experience.

THE COMEBACK STORIES

Joining Silicon Valley behemoths like Facebook and Google in the top 10 this year are two of the more seasoned tech giants, both of which are looking to make a splash with the next generation of employees. After not making the top 25 last year, eBay has come roaring back in 5th place, one position above Yahoo, which climbed its way up from 14th place last year.

“They’re both on their way to reinventing themselves to become a little bit more relevant again, competing with some of the younger tech companies out there,” says Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s career trends analyst. “The fact that they have amazing internship programs points to the fact that they’re very aware that they need the latest and greatest up-and-coming tech talent to really compete with the big guys right now that are a little bit more relevant, like Facebook, Google, and Apple.”

THE NEW CONTENDERS

While tech companies dominated the list, occupying 12 of the top 25 positions, other industries—such as financial services, media, and oil and gas—are closing the gap. The emphasis these sectors are putting on their internship programs is both a symptom of a recovering economy and a sign that more traditional industries are following in the footsteps of Silicon Valley employers when it comes to their recruiting practices, says Dobroski.

“This theme of internships across more sectors rating highly is no surprise, it’s very inline with the fact that companies are hiring again, and they are now ready and able to pay a little bit more attention than they did after the great recession to the next generation of talent,” he says. “They are mimicking and taking the playbook from some of the tech companies on how to identify and treat entry-level employees correctly.”

TAKING THAT FIRST, VITAL STEP TOWARD A SUCCESSFUL CAREER

Students and recent graduates themselves are also discovering that many desirable career paths start at the internship level: much more so than in generations previous.

“It matters, and it matters more than it did 10 years ago,” says Dobroski. “If you do a good job and prove yourself at most of the companies you see on this list, which are great employers, we see that a lot of interns do get hired on (after completing the internship).”

Glassdoor is home to nearly 5 million job listings, and according to Dobroski, most entry-level positions on the site now require internship experience as a prerequisite.

“Even if you don’t get hired by the company you’re interning for, if you’re a good intern you’re going to meet many people who have worked at similar companies before, and know people at other companies that they can refer you to,” he says. “That’s how you get a really good job, not just any job.”

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