While Apple and other companies all around the globe have had to make some major changes due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the machines must continue. Which means summer intern programs are moving ahead as planned.

But even those will see some changes, based on a new report from Axios today. The publication reached out to some major tech companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Lyft, and others, to find out what their summer intern programs will look like in 2020. Most of the companies have shifted priorities from in-person internships to digital-only, while others, including Apple, say on-site internships are still a possibility as long as it’s safe to do so.

For its part, Apple told the publication that it plans to hire more than 1,000 people for the summer intern program, which will offer both online-only and in-person internships. For the in-person internships, Apple says it will be utilizing the same precautions for interns that it has in place for all of its employees:

  • Apple, which told Axios it plans to hire more than 1,000 people for a mix of online and in-person internships and pledged in a statement to “extend to our interns the same precautions and care that we’re extending to all our other personnel as a part of the ongoing COVID-19 response.

Google says it will pay its interns the full rate, and Twitter expects that its intern class may shrink a bit in 2020. Microsoft confirmed in a blog post recently that it expects its intern class to be the biggest ever this year, which could include more than 4,000 people. Amazon also expects its biggest-ever intern class in 2020, but it expects the majority of that to be online-only.

The key question, put succinctly by Axios is:

  • A key question is how meaningful the online experience proves to be, both as a learning experience and a recruiting tool. Employers understand they need to try to find effective remote substitutes for in-person networking and social events, in addition to finding work tasks that can be done fully online.

It’s good to see that these companies are still going to offer intern programs, because these are important steps for many, especially those looking to join the ranks of these companies (or others of a similar size). The most important part is keeping people safe, though, so finding the right balance is critical.