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  • Converting Interns, Co-ops Into Full-Time Hires on the Rise

    April 12, 2019 | By NACE Staff

    Internships
    An intern smiles.

    TAGS: internships, hiring outlook, surveys, spotlight, co_ops

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Employers had success converting their interns and co-ops from the Class of 2018 into full-time, entry-level hires, according to results of NACE’s 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report.

    The conversion rate for this group of interns is 56.1 percent, which is more than 10 percent higher than last year and has reached its highest level since 2016. (See Figure 1.)

    Both the offer and acceptance rates have also increased for Class of 2018 intern hires. The bump in acceptance rate follows a trend of gradual growth over the last three years. This could signal that, while employers overall are offering more internships, students remain somewhat selective about the offers they accept.

    For Class of 2018 co-ops, both the offer and conversion rates greatly increased—up 15.6 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively—while the acceptance rate was flat. (See Figure 2.)

    A pattern has emerged in which the co-op offer and conversion rates rise and fall seemingly in lockstep. While the exact reasons for these fluctuations—and their similarities—are unknown, one possibility is they could simply be caused by discrepancies in the numbers and types of employers responding to the survey each year.

    Data for the 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report were collected from December 3, 2018, to February 22, 2019, from NACE employer members; there were 262 respondents representing 28.2 percent of all eligible respondents. The report will be available later this spring.

    Figure 1: Intern conversion: 2015-19

    Year Offer Rate Acceptance Rate Conversion Rate
    2019 70.4% 79.6% 56.1%
    2018 59.0% 77.3% 45.6%
    2017 67.1% 76.4% 51.3%
    2016 72.7% 85.2% 61.9%
    2015 58.9% 87.8% 51.7%
    Source: 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers

    Figure 2: Co-op conversion: 2015-19

    Year Offer Rate Acceptance Rate Conversion Rate
    2019 50.2% 79.3% 39.9%
    2018 34.6% 80.3% 27.8%
    2017 49.1% 83.5% 41.0%
    2016 36.5% 72.2% 26.4%
    2015 50.4% 75.0% 37.8%
    Source: 2019 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, National Association of Colleges and Employers