To Intern or Not to Intern: 30+ Eye-Opening Internship Statistics

To Intern or Not to Intern: 30+ Eye-Opening Internship Statistics
ByMilica Milenkovic
September 24,2021

The competition for entry-level jobs is becoming tougher by the year, forcing students to find new ways to set themselves apart from the highly talented, skilled, and qualified candidates. Recent graduates who are fortunate enough to enter the job market and get relevant work experience early on are typically preferred by employers in almost any field. Internship statistics reveal that such experience is more important for career success than a GPA and other academic records. 

As a growing number of students and recent college graduates look for internship opportunities, companies have started building well-structured and often generous internship programs. Although studies show that internship experience usually leads to quicker and more lucrative full-time job offers, starting your career with an internship is not all roses. Check out our list of internship facts and stats to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of these programs.

Key Findings: The Most Interesting Internship Facts

  • One out of 10 internships takes place in the year following graduation.
  • Almost 86% of law clerks completed an internship.
  • At least 60% of students in each graduating class since 2013 participated in an internship and/or co-op during their time in college.
  • Approximately 70% of employers offer their interns full-time jobs.
  • Students who completed an internship are 15% less likely to be unemployed in the first years after college.
  • Among those participating in unpaid internships, 75.5% are women.
  • Facebook interns get a median monthly pay of $8,000.
  • Almost 38% of students said that their internship got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the things that separates students who manage to find a well-paying job relatively quickly upon graduation from those who end up underemployed or unemployed is whether they’ve done internships. While it’s not a secret that interning comes with educational, networking, and financial benefits, many undergraduates are unsure about how many internships they should do and when to start applying for this type of work experience.

At least 60% of students in each graduating class since 2013 completed an internship and/or co-op during their time in college.

(National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Among the students who complete an internship, just over 50% participate in more than one. Of those, 27% do two internships, 13% do three, and an ambitious 2% complete six or more internships. 

(Chegg)

While most people start and complete their internships while they are still in college, statistics show that approximately 31% of internships begin after graduation.

(Chegg)

About 4.2% of internships are started in high school.

(Chegg)

One out of 10 internships is commenced in the year following graduation.

(Chegg)

Industries and Roles That Require Internships

Some of the key benefits offered by internships include an opportunity to get insight into the way businesses operate, a chance to get valuable work experience, and the possibility to apply the concepts and strategies you’ve learned about during your studies. However, certain industries, companies, and professions require you to complete internships to develop your skills in a particular field. Here are some statistics about such internship opportunities. 

Accounting giants such as EY, KPMG, PwC, and Deloitte prefer workers with former internship experience. Over 80% of new employees in these companies interned prior to being hired.

(Chegg)

Tech firms also employ former interns - 80.2% of Facebook’s workers have completed an internship, and so have 78.3% of Google’s employees. Meanwhile, 70.1% of those working at IBM have also interned. 

(Chegg)

(PwC)

The US Congress has one of the highest percentages of employees with internship experience - more than 89.4% of congressional employees have previously interned.

(Chegg)

College internship statistics show that 86% of law clerks have done an internship.

(Chegg)

Three in four entry-level hires for the positions of audit associate, reporter, and analyst have interned.

(Chegg) 

Internships and the Chances of Getting Hired

As competition for graduate jobs increases, students are forced to come up with more innovative ways to stand out from the crowd. It’s no secret that new graduates with relevant work experience tend to draw employers’ attention. That’s why internships aren’t just an interesting prospect but are considered a must-have experience for college students. 

Just over 70% of employers end up offering their interns full-time jobs. Almost 80% of students accept these offers. 

(National Association of Colleges and Employers)

More than 56% of interns and almost 40% of co-op students became full-time, entry-level hires in 2019.

(National Association of Colleges and Employers)

According to 34% of college graduates, doing an internship has significantly impacted career directions and employment opportunities. 

(National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Students who have done an internship are 15% less likely to be unemployed in the first years after college and earn 6% more than students who did not. 

(The Conversation)

Recent graduates working full-time, college-level jobs earn an average annual salary of $47,470.

(Burning Glass Technologies)

Salary Expectations for an Internship

In terms of experience, internships are invaluable. However, they hardly have a reputation for being lucrative. Many jobs of this type are unpaid, and some employers even require students to temporarily relocate, requiring them to use any income they earn to cover housing expenses. 

(Center for Research on College-Workforce Transition)

Institutions offering unpaid internships include non-profit organizations (54.7%), government agencies (22.7%), and for-profit organizations (about 23%).

(Center for Research on College-Workforce Transition)

Unpaid internship statistics reveal that fields such as political science, journalism, and human development mostly offer unpaid opportunities in contrast to business or agricultural majors, which usually grant paid internships.

(Center for Research on College-Workforce Transition)

Among those participating in unpaid internships, the majority, or 75.5%, are women. 

(Center for Research on College-Workforce Transition)

However, that’s not always the case. Some organizations pay college interns twice what regular workers earn. Here’s an overview of some of the highest-paying internships offered by American companies:

Facebook pays its interns a median monthly rate of $8,000.

(Glassdoor)

Interns at Amazon receive a median monthly pay of $7,725.

(Glassdoor)

According to IT internship statistics, Salesforce pays interns a median monthly rate of $7,667.

(Glassdoor)

A typical intern salary at Google is $7,500 per month. 

(Glassdoor)

Microsoft pays its interns a median monthly rate of $7,250.

(Glassdoor)

A well-paid internship is also offered by Uber. The company’s interns get a median monthly pay of $7,167.

(Glassdoor)

Those who land an internship with Bloomberg LP receive a median monthly pay of $7,000. 

(Glassdoor)

Internship statistics show that those college graduates who get an opportunity to work for Apple get a median monthly pay of $6,667.

(Glassdoor)

Internship Opportunities During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 health crisis has impacted all of us, but those just beginning their careers may have been hit the hardest, with employers hiring fewer interns. In addition, many internship jobs were canceled. As a result, students around the world have been forced to reconsider their career plans. 

According to a recent survey that explored the impact of COVID-19 on summer internships, 37.6% of students said that their internship got canceled and they couldn’t find a new one. 

(CareerUp)

Internship statistics also showed that 38.7% of students did not even plan to do an internship in 2020.

(CareerUp)

While 14.2% of students revealed that their 2020 summer internships were transitioned to a remote basis, less than 5% said they still interned in person.

(CareerUp)

Although 72% of all students decided against taking a different career path due to COVID-19, 36% of those who studied advertising, marketing, and design, 38% of HR and talent management students, and more than 50% of event management students considered changing their major. 

(CareerUp)

Statistics on internships demonstrate that 46.2% of students believe COVID-19 has made internships more valuable.

(CareerUp)

According to 32.7% of the survey respondents, the importance of internships hasn’t changed due to the impact of the pandemic.

Only 22.7% of students thought about taking a gap year because of the global health crisis.

(CareerUp)

Most of those who found this idea appealing said that they would take time off from college to get a job, find an internship, or take online courses.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the highest paying internship?

Do you get paid for internships? There isn’t a simple answer to this question. While many internship roles, especially those offered by non-profit organizations or government agencies, don’t offer salaries, there are internship opportunities where you can get paid even more than what regular workers earn. The list of companies with the highest-paying internships includes Facebook, Amazon, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, J.P. Morgan, and Bank of America. 

What percent of students get internships?

Since 2013, more than half (60%) of students in each graduating class did an internship and/or co-op during their time in college.

Are internships only for college students?

No, they are not. While most people intern during their college years, internship statistics reveal that such opportunities to work and learn are also offered to high school students, new graduates, and those who have completed their degrees several years ago. Career changers and returnees to the workforce can also benefit from internship opportunities. 

What are the chances of getting hired after an internship?

Approximately 70% of employers offer their interns full-time jobs, and up to 80% of students accept the offers.

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Several studies have shown that it’s the fusion of work-life constraints, early professional trade-offs, and firmly established attitudes towards women in power and the skills and traits that make a good leader that can explain why the careers of equally ambitious and capable men and women often take such different turns. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting findings. Male vs Female CEO Statistics - Editor’s Choice Female CEOs are running 41 Fortune 500 companies. There are two Black women among the Fortune 500 CEOs. Women made up only 5% of the CEOs appointed in 2020 globally. At the CEO level, men outnumber women by approximately 17 to one.  59% of male employees aspire to become CEOs versus 40% of women. 77% of women say the biggest obstacle to gender equity at the workplace is the lack of information on how to advance. Between 2015 and 2020, the share of women in senior vice president roles in the US increased from 23% to 28%. 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