Study: Unpaid internships have negative impact on job search

Generally, an unpaid internship can lead to a longer job search after you graduate from college.

A study released last month – funded by the NACE Foundation – took a look at how unpaid internships during a student’s college years impacted several factors including full-time employment, job satisfaction, professional skill development, goal-setting, networking, academic performance, and job-search success. Data was collected through the University of Georgia.

The final conclusion was that unpaid internships have a negative impact on post graduation employment.

Interesting enough, the study showed that journalism students were more likely to pursue unpaid opportunities. Altogether, students of a variety of majors proved they were more likely to pursue unpaid opportunities.

Unfortunately, the study found that a student who participated in an unpaid internship was more likely to have a longer job search following his or hers graduation.

Obviously, both an unpaid and paid internship can offer an opportunity for skills to grow and thrive, however, the study showed that employers who offer unpaid internships are less likely to offer a full-time employment right after.

While these findings are not surprising – the study did show that there is a need to better understand student experiences by having better data, especially when it comes to tracking off-campus experiences in correlation with on-campus experiences (i.e. class assignments, on-campus jobs, etc).

Check out the study here.


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