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  • The Value of Unpaid Internships

    October 26, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Internships
    Two interns work together to gain real world experience.

    TAGS: internships, surveys, spotlight

    Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

    Even though unpaid internships correlate negatively to student salary and employment outcomes, they are not without value, according to findings of a new study conducted by Andrew Crain for the NACE Foundation.

    The research conducted by Crain, a career consultant for the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, found that unpaid internships correlate to positive outcomes in the areas of confirming or rejecting career interests, setting and attaining career goals, quality of supervision, and networking

    In fact, in the latter two categories, unpaid internships proved to be slightly more impactful than paid internship experiences (although both were significant). Notably, unpaid internships were rated as being significantly beneficial to gains in understanding academic coursework, while paid internships were not rated as significant in this area.

    On the other side, paid internships were rated as significant to professional skill development, while unpaid internships were not significant in this area.

    An article on highlights of Crain’s research appears in the November issue of the NACE Journal. Crain’s study titled “Understanding the Impact of Unpaid Internships on College Student Career Development and Employment Outcomes,” which was conducted on behalf of and funded by the NACE Foundation, will be available this fall.