Spotlight for Career Services Professionals, September 28, 2011
Class of 2011 graduates who took part in a paid internship were more likely to get a job offer, have a job in hand by the time they graduated, and receive a higher starting salary offer than their peers who undertook an unpaid internship or no internship at all, according to NACE’s 2011 Student Survey.
The survey, which garnered responses from nearly 20,000 seniors, found that paid interns in the for-profit sector earned the highest offer rates: More than 61 percent had received a job offer. But paid interns in the nonprofit and government sectors also outpaced unpaid interns, regardless of sector. (Best showing for unpaid internships—the for-profit sector, with just under 38 percent of unpaid interns getting a job offer. In contrast, the “worst” environment for a paid intern was with a state/local government employer: Just under 40 percent received a job offer. )
Similarly, paid interns—regardless of which sector the internship was performed in—had higher starting salary offers than their unpaid peers.
Intern duties appear to be the key to the difference in why paid internships translated into better job-search performance. The paid interns spent more time on “professional” duties—and thus gained more “real” experience—than unpaid interns, who spend more time on clerical activities.
The 2011 Student Survey was conducted mid-February through April 30, 2011. Read the executive summary. For details about the survey report, see “The Class of 2011 Student Survey Report.”