Unpaid Internships, Do They Really Pay Off?

Unpaid internships have become one of those things that are pretty much required for college students when it comes to preparing for the real world.

Well one study shows that those internships might not be as valuable as we once thought.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has asked graduating seniors for the past three years if they’ve received a job offer and if they’ve ever had either a paid or unpaid internship.

The results of this study showed that unpaid internships don’t seem to give college kids as much of a leg up as once believed.

According to The Atlantic, the NACE talked to more than 9,200 seniors from between February through the end of April.

The NACE reported that 63.1 percent of students with a paid internship under their belt had received at least one job offer.

Only 37 percent of those with unpaid internships had been offered a job, and 35.2 percent the same thing.

Based on those results, there was only a 1.8 percent difference between those with no internship experience and an unpaid internship experience.

When it comes to the money aspect, the study showed that those with unpaid experience actually where paid less than those with no internship experience.

Edwin Nace, NACE’s research director told The Atlantic,

“While there’s a stark difference between having a paid internship and no internship in terms of offer rates and median salary, it all pretty much seems to wash away when you’re talking about unpaid internships versus no internships at all.”

The report went on to discuss possible reasons as to why unpaid internships fared so low compared to paid internships when it came to getting work, such as “smarts” and major area of study.

There were no clear cut reasons as to why there is such a drastic difference. When it comes to paid versues unpaid the differences can be drastic.

Recently there has been news covering how Google’s interns get paid some $5000 a month, while others are suing because of terrible pay while interning for 20th Century Fox on the set of Black Swan.

When it comes to having a long list of unpaid internships versus having a big empty space on your resume, which is better?

Some argue that it’s better to have something rather than nothing, but with the results to this study, it may be best to not jump to any sort of conclusions just yet.

[Image via Shutterstock/Goodluz]