Paid interns more likely to receive job offers
Internships may be a determining factor when it comes to an individual’s career search.
Students who had internships related to their studies in college earned 20 percent more than those who did not, according to a Rutgers University study.
“I think they are a valuable transition from college to your professional career. You’re learning how to do your job instead of how to pass a test,” said computer information systems sophomore Collin Hannah.
Internships can be paid or unpaid. While both are beneficial for college students, a study by National Association of Colleges and Employers shows paid internships are better in the long run. The NACE study outlined the difference in exposure these two types of internships receive.
In comparison to 30 percent of unpaid interns who participated in more clerical task, 42 percent of paid interns participated in professional tasks like analysis and project management. In the end, results showed that 60 percent of respondents in paid internships received at least one job offer compared to 37 percent of unpaid interns, giving students with unpaid internships a 1 percent advantage in receiving job offers before graduates without any internship experience.
Because of these poor results and a rise in legal violations, unpaid internships may soon become a thing of the past, according to Time magazine. Internship programs are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires employers to meet six criteria before hiring an unpaid intern.
Time reported a rise in lawsuits against companies accused of abusing their power by taking advantage of college by having them work the long hours of paid employees without the benefits, as recently reported in the New York Times.
“Work gets in the way for me. My job isn’t related to my field but it pays the bills. The problem with internships is that I have to pick between working for free or having a source of income,” said public relations senior Chris Pinero.
The National Council for Work Experience has offered students a set of guidelines when deciding if an unpaid internship is the right choice. They recommend students look at training opportunities in their particular industry and be exposed to useful contacts, to clarify the purpose and expectations of the internship from the beginning and to stay aware of the difference between valuable job experience and exploitation.