Gen Z grads think jobs at big tech companies like Facebook and Google are 'harmful,' and they refuse to work for them

Facebook and Google routinely hold the top spots for the best places to work, but some college grads couldn’t care less.

Generation Z college graduates, or those born between 1996-2010, say they won’t be applying to jobs at major tech companies due to concerns over company ethics, according to a new report from The New York Times.

The last decade had no shortage of scandals involving major tech firms, including reports that Google had protected a top executive from punishment for sexual misconduct in 2018 and Facebook’s revelation that Cambridge Analytica improperly obtained millions of users’ data to serve pro-Trump ads in advance of the 2016 election.

As a result, some former recruiters for Facebook told CNBC the acceptance rate for full-time engineers fell by as much as 40%.

As more Gen Zs graduate college, big tech firms could lose out on key talent. Many Gen Zers say they consider a company’s social responsibility when looking for jobs, and are quick to quit if the firm doesn’t meet their standards.

“The work you do at a place like Facebook could be harmful at a much larger scale than an investment bank,” Belce Dogru, a computer science student at Stanford, told The New York Times. “It’s in the pockets of millions of people, and it’s a source of news for millions of people. It’s working at a scary scale.”

Google and Facebook once used perks like free meals and in-office massages to compete for elite talent. And for a while, it worked. Ivy League engineering grads ranked Google, Amazon, and Facebook in their top 10 most desirable places to work 

Finance still dominates the top majors at Ivy League colleges, and jobs on Wall Street remain popular among the country’s elite graduates. But tech’s recent popularity prompted finance companies to relax their office culture, mirroring Silicon Valley.

Though Google and Facebook landed on LinkedIn and Glassdoor’s “best places to work” lists for 2020, prospective and current employee disaffected with big tech could turn the tide.