Internships are widely acknowledged as a highly effective bridge between college and professional employment.
In a recent study by Hart Research Associates, 94% of over 400 surveyed employers indicate a preference for hiring recent college graduates who have completed successful internships. Additionally, 80% of employers consider it important that recent grads demonstrate their ability to apply their learning in real-world settings.
From the college's perspective, the primary purpose of an internship is to provide students with experiences that differ from traditional classroom learning. Internships should offer opportunities to validate or challenge textbook knowledge and lecture concepts.
This process of "confirming" and "confounding" ideas fosters insight and innovation, precisely the qualities employers seek in college graduates of all disciplines.
Understanding Internships and Experiential Learning: How Do They Differ from Jobs?
- Practically and legally, internships differ from "employment" by emphasizing student learning.
- An academic internship is a partnership between the college and an employer (or "host site").
- This academic partnership ensures that the internship is guided by the employer's expectation of productive work and by the college's expectation of meaningful, applied learning.
- Through this partnership arrangement, the college promotes and protects the student's interests as a student while facilitating professional work experience.
Studies have shown that having a successful internship greatly increases the chances of being hired as a recent college graduate. In fact, nine out of ten employers prefer candidates who have completed internships. It's worth noting that over 40% of new college hires are sourced directly from an employer's internship pool.