The statistics from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the Internships.com 2012 Survey, clearly show why it is essential for college students to do at least one, and ideally multiple internships, before they graduate. Here are 8 reasons why internships are important:
1) Your Competition is Participating in Internships
Nationally, 67% of 2012 college graduates have completed at least one internship . 28% complete 2 or more internships (Internships.com 2012 Survey). Students who graduate without an internship are at a disadvantage when competing with those who have do have relevant experience.
2) Students Can Earn Money:
While about half of internships are unpaid, many career centers offer stipend programs to help students participate in unpaid internships. Contact your career center to find out.There are also many great external internship stipend programs available, as well.
3) Best Entry into Prestigious Companies:
Internships are often the way our students get their foot in the door of prestigious organizations. Many firms have indicated that they are only recruiting for their internship positions and not for full time positions.
4) Internship Programs Are Used as a Pipeline for Full Time Positions:
Nearly 60% of students interning get job offers from their employer (NACE 2011), a finding supported by a more recent survey that stated 69% of companies with 100+ employees offer full-time jobs to their interns (Internships.com 2012 Survey). 86% of surveyed companies use internships to recruit college students for future employment (NACE 2011).
5) Need to Build Experience Earlier On:
48% of students land their 1st internships BEFORE their junior year (Internships.com 2012 Survey). We have seen a trend where prestigious organizations are trying to reach students earlier for internships through programs targeting freshmen and sophomores. So not only is getting a full time job more competitive, but getting an internship your junior year is as well. Students need to begin building experience earlier on to gain entry into top internships.
6) Networking Often Leads to Job:
We often hear that it is not what you know but who you know. The Dept. of Labor states that 69% of jobs are obtained through referrals or by a contact. By interning students begin to build their professional network within the industry and field.
7) Clarify Career Goals:
Interning allows you to determine whether the career you are pursuing is right for you. Without working in the field, it can be difficult for a student to really know if they will be happy.
8) Employers Want New Employees to Have Experience:
Employers indicated that 62% of their new employees had internship experience of some kind (NACE 2011). 66% of employers state that a strong interview and relevant work experience are the most important factors in their hiring decisions (Internships.com 2012)
So don’t wait any longer to get into your career center to get assistance with landing that internship. It is never too early to start, and often too late.