Unpaid internships are just not worth it

If you think you need an unpaid internship to get a foot in the door and then a job, I’d like you to meet reality:

The [National Association of Colleges and Employers] released a study this week showing that 60% of 2012 graduates who worked a paid internship got at least one job offer, while just 37% of those in unpaid gigs got any offers. That’s slightly – only slightly – better than the offer rate for graduates who skipped internships entirely, at 36%.

It is no better than no internship at all. Being paid on the other hand is much better, 62% better. And that’s for all unpaid internships, not to mention unfair internships where you surely get no on-the-job training.

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6 Responses to Unpaid internships are just not worth it

  1. Ashley says:

    Those are unsettling statistics, but it doesn’t surprise me. I’m not sure if there’s something about the economy that necessitates so many internships, or if employers just don’t budget for employees in these positions because they don’t have to.

    Such a shame that young people have to stoop so low to move ahead.

  2. exintern says:

    “Because they can” is the most likely explanation. The law is rarely enforced, the economy makes jobs scarcer, the interns have no negotiation power and little knowledge of their rights anyway.

  3. Alex says:

    All internship and traineeship positions are paid at http://www.j1training.org. J1 Training programs are open to all international students and young professionals up to age of 34. However most positions are in hospitality :(

  4. avanthard says:

    300/400 euro pay a month is a tease, no pay at all is a mockery!!
    i have had 5 internships within 2 years in Berlin, and NO job offers, HOWEVER excellent references for the future employers were given.
    There should be some regulations towards this slavery! It’s gone the way too far, I have seen this situation now from the inside out, and hurts, because it’s pure young labor exploitation!!! There is NO educational part involved, by hiring they ALREADY expect you to KNOW everything, i really mean it!

    With the money they were paying me I could only pay my rent, i had to work weekends to by my bread! I am NOT able to pay my tuition fees and will not be until they hire me as a normal worker!!

    I have 3 degrees, and when applying for a graphic design internship (this is something i have not studied yet, but have a huge interest in, and have taken a course by myself) i get rejected because i am not enough experienced!!! they are NOT interested in teaching, but only using you as a cheap work force!

    Seeing all this I have started the global fight:

    https://www.facebook.com/internshipcrime

    I have written letters to EU, as a call to action, and will continue collecting case studies in order to prove that this is a crime!
    Please, support by joining the Facebook page!

    Thank you for reading,
    Katja

  5. Paul says:

    I would assume top caliber students are getting the paid internships because they are at better companies (GE, Google, etc).

    So the best internships are getting the best students. Then, of course they have a higher potential to get a job than unpaid internships.

    I wrote an article about the exact same topic:

    http://www.jobkaster.com/blog/a-case-for-unpaid-internships/

  6. jeff says:

    CL> new york> manhattan> all jobs> art/media/design jobs
    Reply w8jhj-3985192537@job.craigslist.org [?]

    flag [?] : miscategorized prohibited spam best of
    Posted: 2013-08-06, 6:24PM EDT

    Interior Design and Construction Intern – Jonathan Adler (New York, NY)
    Jonathan Adler is a home design company dedicated to bringing style, craft, joy and a general spirit of grooviness to the home.

    We are seeking talented designers and design students with an Architectural and/or Interior Design background who can work hand in hand with the Design and Construction team as well as other members of the creative team. Strong AutoCAD skills are a must and the internship will focus on the retail design process. This includes design mock-ups, presentation preparation and project organization as well as design, aiding development of construction drawings and millwork details, attending site visits where possible, and installation of current and upcoming retail store spaces and trade show booths. We love interns with a go-get-em attitude who can execute individual projects and work in small teams. Ideally, we’d like our interns to commit to 2 to 3 consecutive days per week.

    Strong background in AutoCAD is a must. Proficiency in Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and/or Illustrator is a huge plus.

    Please email resume and work examples to the address here to apply. Applications without a resume and work examples will not be reviewed.

    •Location: New York, NY
    •Compensation: Unpaid/for school credit
    •This is an internship job
    •Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
    •Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

    Posting ID: 3985192537

    Posted: 2013-08-06, 6:24PM EDT

    Updated: 2013-08-06, 6:24PM EDT

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