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  • Summer Internships Moving Online in Wake of Pandemic

    BETHLEHEM, PA—Summer internships for college students are undergoing major changes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to data collected by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

    NACE began polling employers in March and has seen a steady push toward moving internships online—rather than holding them at employers’ sites during the summer, as is typical—or limiting them in length and size.

    Initially, 90 percent of responding employers expected to maintain their internship programs without change; by the last week in March, that number was down to 74 percent. This morning, results were even more dramatic: Just 35 percent reported moving forward with on-site internships as planned.

    Instead, 29 percent of responding employers report they will conduct their internship programs virtually—up from 2.4 percent that reported such plans in the last week in March. In addition, 35 percent will reduce the length of their internship programs by delaying the start date. Fifteen percent said they would cut back on the number of interns taking part in the internship program, either virtually or on site.

    Additional results from NACE’s polls are available on the NACE website.

    NACE is currently conducting a second poll through the end of April to delve into recruiting and hiring plans and track changes to internship programs. Preliminary results from the April poll will be posted each Friday, beginning April 3.

    About NACE’s Coronavirus Polls: The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) polled its employer member organizations March 9 – 31, 2020. A total of 371 organizations took part, a 40 percent response rate. Participants were able to update their responses throughout the life of the poll. A second poll launched on April 1 and will run through the end of April. As of April 2, 129 employers had taken part; participants can update their responses through the end of the poll. In addition to internships, the poll queries employers about their hiring of 2020 college graduates and their expectations for recruiting Class of 2021 graduates. Poll results are updated each Friday.

    About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media.