The career benefits of doing an internship in college

DETROIT – Having an internship as a college student or recent graduate provides benefits for those preparing to enter the workforce.


Internships allow students to get experience beyond lectures and textbooks, and offer the opportunity to explore their chosen career field. Students can discover whether they've made the right career choice and learn while doing hands-on work assignments.

Universities with internship programs may offer students credit for completing an internship, and some work assignments are paid.

Working in their field allows students to be better prepared for their future jobs before they begin full-time work. Also, internships can lead to jobs after graduation.

When companies hire interns, they have a chance to see how students work before they consider hiring them permanently. 

Post-graduate employment

A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that students who had internships in college were more likely to be employed or in graduate school six months after graduation than those who did not hold internships.

The study noted that those who had higher GPAs and had two or more internships had higher chances of being employed six months after graduation than those with lower GPAs or those who only held one internship.

According to data from NACE's survey of the class of 2015, more than 56.5 percent of students who had an internship received at least one job offer, compared 36.5 percent of those who had no internship who received at least one job offer.

Internships that are paid tend to offer higher salaries to students they hire, NACE found, and students with paid internships were more likely to get hired when their internships were completed.

According to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, less employers are paying their interns; only 65 percent of intens will be paid this school year.