The Business Case for Paid Internships

Source: Send2Press
Tue, 09 Mar 2010, 06:59:23 EDT

Edited by Debra Tone

Internship hiring expected to rise 4 percent, while paid opportunities to drop by 8 percent and wages to decline by 4 percent.

BOSTON, Mass., March 9 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Intern Bridge, the nation’s leading college recruiting research and consulting firm, began releasing data today from its national internship survey completed by over 25,000 students from 250 universities. In the 2010 Internship Salary Report, the firm details the business case for offering paid internships based on this firsthand data.

The report shows that the number of students involved in internships is expected to increase by 4 percent this year, a sign that employers nationwide are turning to experiential education to save money on labor costs. The report also shows that the number of paid opportunities is set to drop by 8 percent in addition to a wage decline of 4 percent, bringing the national average intern wage to $12.38 an hour. However, unpaid and low-paid experiences do not typically translate into results for employers.

The report details that offering as little as one dollar extra per hour could have a direct impact on the student’s future career path and acceptance of a job offer. For example, students who were paid an average of $13.80 strongly agreed they would consider working for their internship employer full-time, where students who earned $11.39 strongly disagreed.

“This is impressive data. We are finally able to directly connect internship program success with the amount of money paid to students,” says Intern Bridge Founder, Richard Bottner. “Unpaid internships have been the status quo for too long, especially when in many cases it actually works against the employers. It’s a practice that needs additional attention. Employers simply do not realize the negative impact unpaid internships have on their business, the economy, and students.”

The report also details that 77 percent of students need to work second jobs when working an unpaid internship experience, with only 35 percent of the total student population able to receive any sort of financial support from their parents. This leaves less time available for interns to focus on working for their employers, or requires students to miss out on important academic activities.

“Part of the problem is that some companies believe that students seek internships to get rich. The data does not support that,” Bottner adds. In fact, the top 8 reasons student pursue internships have to do with building their network and learning about an industry – nothing to do with money. Further, 7 out of 10 students would accept less pay in exchange for greater work experience.


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