Internship Corner – How Important Are Internships to Employers?

Internships have always been a crucial stepping stone for students aiming to kickstart their careers, but recent trends show that they’re becoming even more valuable to employers as well. The following are highlights from NACE’s (National Association of Colleges and Employers) 2023 report on Internships and Co-ops.

  1. Increase in Intern Hiring: Employers are projecting to hire 9.1% more interns in 2022-2023. This surpasses the projections for full-time hiring, which is expected to increase by 3.9%. This statistic underscores the growing importance of interns in the workforce.
  2. The Hybrid Workplace: Approximately 65% of employers anticipate providing a hybrid internship experience in 2022-23. This means interns will work partially in-person and partially in a virtual environment. Students that can demonstrate proficiency in time management and communication in a hybrid setting can stand apart from other applicants as hybrid workplaces become standard.
  3. In-Person Recruiting Preferred: While virtual recruiting methods became prevalent during the pandemic, employers have a clear preference for in-person recruiting. Career fairs and on-campus recruiting are deemed highly effective for recruiting students. This preference for in-person interaction highlights the value of establishing personal connections during the internship recruitment process.
    • Consider attending our Winter In-person Career Fair to meet with employers! Many focus on hiring interns for summer during this time.
  4. Less Focus on GPA: Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of soft skills and competencies over traditional metrics like GPA. Communication, teamwork, and critical thinking abilities are deemed the top competencies for students. This shift in focus emphasizes the well-rounded development and readiness of candidates over academic performance alone.

In light of these trends, it’s evident that internships are no longer just a checkbox on a student’s resume. They’ve become a crucial asset for employers, contributing to increased hiring rates, better retention, and an emphasis on essential skills over mere academic achievement. Your internship can offer not only academic knowledge but also the opportunity to develop key competencies that employers highly value. Remember, it’s not just about what you can learn from them; it’s also about how your internship experience can be a stepping stone to a successful career. Get out there, seize those internship opportunities, and pave the way for a bright professional future!

By Eli Davis (She/They)
Eli Davis (She/They) Internship Program Manager