Snapchat Is Paying College Grads Almost $500,000 to Work There

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By Nicholas Carlson

For the past two years Snapchat has been making huge job offers to students at Stanford and other top engineering schools.

This year it's offering seniors and finishing graduate students salaries between $100,000 and $150,000, and $300,000 in stock grants that vest over four years. (That's down from last year, when Snapchat would offer students $400,000 in stock.)

Any Stanford student who accepted one of those 2014 offers is, in all likelihood, already a millionaire on paper. The company's valuation has multiplied since then. In the fall of 2013, Snapchat turned down an offer to sell to Facebook for $3 billion. Last summer, it raised almost $500 million at a $10 billion valuation. This year, it raised another $200 million at a $15 billion valuation.According to several people we spoke with for a story on the life of Stanford seniors in 2015, big publicly traded tech companies like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn regularly pay new hires out of Stanford a salary of between $100,000 and $150,000. Those companies will offer stock grants between $100,000 and $200,000. Sometimes there are signing bonuses close to $25,000.

Snapchat isn't offering these kinds of salaries and stock grants to all new hires - just top software engineers from top computer-science programs.

A person familiar with Snapchat's offers says one reason the company has to offer so much more than Google and Facebook is that it is not based in Silicon Valley with the rest of the industry, but way down in Los Angeles. Also, Snapchat is perceived to be as a riskier place to work.

A Stanford graduate student who turned down an offer from Snapchat for a lighter one from Facebook confirmed that those were the two reasons he took less money.
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