As the movie “The Internship” hits theaters this weekend it leaves many asking questions about the most coveted internships available and the type of incomes some college students can earn over the summer.

The news is full of difficult stories about the work force and graduates leaving college without the skills to find full-time employment, but the truth is if you get the right degree and work skills you may be able to compete for a highly coveted top paying job.

How much does a Google Intern make?

CNNMoney reports, “At Google, internships range from ad sales and marketing to the highest paid software engineers. They are expected to commit to at least three months of full-time work, meaning that most tech interns will get paid about $20,000 during their stint.”  What’s the reason? According to job experts, there is a war for great technology talent.

But getting a Google internship is about much more than the money. Employees also rated Google one of the top companies to work for because of their laid back work environment, the ability to collaborate with employees, free food, fun work breaks and the opportunity to work on important projects with other employees throughout the world

So if you want to do more than staple papers and get coffee for other employees it pays to do some research of the top companies to work for during the summer months. But don’t expect the internship to be easy to come by. Google is notorious for asking tough interview questions, all with the intent of testing the applicant’s critical assessment skills. For example, one intern noted they were asked, “How many ping pong balls they thought could fit into a school bus?” and “How many new cars, on average, are bought in the US each year?”

Other companies with great internships

The good news is it’s not just Google who offers high paying internships. Microsoft research interns make $7,000 per month and Amazon software engineer interns make more than $5,500. Proctor and Gamble, the Cincinnati-based consumer good giant, also earned high marks for their internships. It’s estimated that interns at P&G can earn about $3,997 per month.

P&G internships like Google also offer benefits such as the opportunity to work with management, a great corporate culture, training opportunities and travel.

Internships and Career Development

Whether it’s Google, Microsoft or Proctor and Gamble, interns all noted they want the programs that offer career development opportunities, access to senior leadership and a “culture which makes them feel valued.”

So whether you choose to work at a Fortune 500 company such as Google or not, an internship allows you to build your work skills, make professional contacts, and build knowledge about your industry. Internships also give you hands on experience in your field of study and will teach you things you cannot possibly learn in a classroom, giving you a competitive advantage over other graduates without practical work experience.