Intern Hiring Is Stable for 2024

April 19, 2024 | By Mimi Collins

A young woman interviewing for an internship.

TAGS: Internships, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Hiring for internships is expected to remain stable this year, according to NACE’s 2024 Internship & Co-op Report.

Overall, eight out of 10 employers taking part in NACE’s annual benchmark report expect to maintain (47.2%) or increase (32.2%) the number of interns they bring in for 2023-24 compared to the 2022-23 academic year. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1


Sourcing, Recruiting, and Selecting Interns

Nearly 61% of employers said they source interns through open applications. That far exceeds  those who source through direct contacts with the career center (17.6%), employee referrals (15.1%), and direct faculty contacts (5.6%).

Still, nearly two-thirds identified on-campus recruiting as an effective recruiting technique, while fewer than 20% said the same about virtual recruiting. In fact, more than 70% cited in-person career fairs as an effective means for recruiting interns.

In terms of selecting students for internships, most employers look for those with key competencies critical to the internship position, but previous internship experience with the organization—or in the industry—also gives students an edge. 

Hybrid Environment Favored for 2024 Experiences

Many of this year’s internship experiences will be conducted in a hybrid environment. Sixty percent of employers said their interns will work both in person and virtually. In comparison, less than half provided their 2022 interns with a hybrid experience. Fewer than 1% are having interns work in an exclusively virtual environment.

Data for the 2024 Internship & Co-op Report were collected October 31, 2023, to January 5, 2024. A total of 283 organizations took part: Of these, 230 were NACE member organizations, representing 25.5% of eligible member respondents. The report explores key aspects of employers’ internships and co-op programs, including hiring projections for the current year as well as historical data for benchmarking and trends analysis.

An executive summary is available on the NACE website

nace logo Mimi Collins is Director of Communications at the National Association of Colleges and Employers.