Intern Conversion Rate Climbs, Fueled By Jump in Offer Rate

April 6, 2021 | By Mimi Collins

Job Offer Letter

TAGS: acceptance rate, conversion, Internships, nace insights, offer rate, trends and predictions,

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The average conversion rate for interns climbed by nearly 20%—jumping from 55.5% reported a year ago to 66.4% currently, according to results of NACE’s 2021 Internship & Co-op Survey Report. (See Figure 1.)

Interestingly, acceptance rates did not budge much: The current rate, 83.1%, is in line with what employers reported last year. Instead, the increase in conversion rates was fueled by a hefty increase in the offer rate. Employers taking part in the survey reported extending offers to nearly 80% of their eligible interns.

The most likely explanation for the increase in offer rates is the pandemic, which necessitated the rapid shut down of many traditional in-person recruiting activities, with little time to ramp up or adjust virtual recruiting. As a result, it appears that many employers opted to put more emphasis on their internship programs for new hires.

NACE collected data for its 2021 Internship & Co-Op Survey Report from December 9, 2020, to February 5, 2021. There were 227 NACE member respondents, representing 25.7% of eligible member respondents. The survey was also distributed to nonmember companies from which an additional 39 responses were received. The 2021 Internship & Co-Op Survey Report is available in MyNACE.

Figure 1