Only 1 in 4 Employers Agree That Interns Stand Out in the Application Process

That’s right, and this leads to less than 1% of applicants receiving internship offers (Citadel, 2023). 

Continuing this thread, our recently published Internship Equation Report 2024, which surveyed hundreds of global employers, revealed that only 42% of companies believe interns possess the necessary technical skills for entry-level positions.

This gap between educational preparation and workplace demands calls for innovative strategies to equip future professionals with the required competencies. Work experience is considered a key differentiator for recent graduates, emphasizing the importance of internships in today's job market.

The Decline in Internship Participation

Despite the recognized value of internships, participation rates have not grown as expected. A decade ago, over 55% of students engaged in internships. This number dropped to 48% by 2022 and further plummeted to 21.5% by 2021.

Given the benefits of internships for students, universities, and employers, this stagnation raises a crucial question: 

Why haven’t internship opportunities expanded over the past decade?

Mismatch in Perceptions

There's a disconnect between how educators and employers view internships. While educators see them as valuable work experience, employers often perceive them as:

  • Extensive investment and resource allocation (86%)
  • Slower outputs (68%)
  • Unusable work (50%)
  • Additional time and effort required (73%)

Concerns about Intern Commitment

Half of the companies surveyed expressed concerns about the risks associated with hiring interns, particularly regarding their commitment and dedication. Furthermore, 58% of 2- and 4-year degree seekers cited a heavy course load as a significant barrier to pursuing internships in the past year. 

This highlights a deeper issue within the current internship model: both industry and students recognize the value of internships but are challenged by the realities of commitment.


Access the Internship Equation Report

The Internship Equation dives into the growing gap between industry demands and educational preparation. For both employers and educators, it offers actionable steps to bridge the skills gap and enhance internship success through greater collaboration between industry and academia.

Access and read the full report below to learn how to collectively address these challenges and create more effective and mutually beneficial internship programs.

Download The Report Now

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