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Concerns Lead Some Stanford Students to Say No to Silicon Valley

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workers hold 'No' signs, illustration

While Silicon Valley's allure remains powerful for many Stanford students, there are also those whose appreciation is tempered by concerns over ethics and corporate cultures.

An entry-level software engineer at a top Internet company can expect an annual salary of $140,000 upon graduation, often with perks such as free food in the office, walking trails, massage specialists, and juice bars. To Arnob Das, when he recently visited Google's Mountain View headquarters as a prospective intern, something about this all seemed too good to be true.

"They have their showers, their beds and dinners set up and everything — and you never leave," he says. "There's no separation between productivity and your life. I think there's more to life than working all the time."

The popularity of Big Tech jobs is still strong, but conscientious objection is becoming more common among youth, according to Katie Creel, an Embedded EthiCS fellow at Stanford. "Today there are more and more professionals in Silicon Valley who are thinking about their values and the big-picture impact they want to have on the world," she says.

From The Stanford Daily
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