The Top 4 Internship Trends You Need to Know


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It’s that time of year again when graduates are wrapping up their last assignments and are now looking for work. Good interns will be hot in demand and will have probably already started applying for internship programmes, so it’s vital that organisations are in tune with what grads want and they know where to find them. In this blog post, Nathan Parcells from
InternMatch discusses just some of the key findings from the 2015 State of College Hiring Report published by Looksharp, which looks at the most popular ways in which students search for internships and the factors that help shape their decision when applying to a company.


Recruiting interns is not the same thing as hiring full-time staff. Students have different needs, expectations, and job search strategies than graduated professionals. My company InternMatch, powered by Looksharp, just conducted one if the largest student internship surveys of all time, and the results from 50,000 respondents show what students are looking for in an internship.

Here are some of the top trends that can help HR pros and hiring managers attract and recruit more students for internships:

Money is important, but not everything

More than 50 percent of 2015 grad with full-time offers are being paid below $55,000, 31.1 percent are being paid between $55,000 and $75,000, and 12 percent make more than $75,000.

While most students consider salary when choosing a job post-graduation, it is more important to some than others. For example, a majority of computer science and finance majors surveyed expect to make more than $75,000, while only 10 percent of English majors expected to make that much.

Paid internships are also more important to some groups of students than others. Finding an internship that pays is more important to students who are closer to graduation, those who have already completed one or more internships, and students in business-oriented fields.

However, when asked about the most important attributes of an internship, 73 percent of students rated opportunities for career advancement as highly important, while only 43 percent said getting paid was very important.

While the pay is an important part of the description, you should also highlight the details of the internship that make it a great opportunity. Will interns have access to executives and mentors? Clear assignments and defined responsibilities? Work-life balance? More students cared about these factors than pay.

Diversity matters

Increasingly students are looking for internships that offer diversity. Although students of the past may not have given much thought to diversity, students who spend their time on more diverse campuses are paying closer attention to demographics in the workplace. Among the students surveyed, 43 percent said diversity was highly important in their internship, up 12.2 points from last year.

Students are looking for an accepting work environment where a variety of creative opinions are voiced and valued.


Students find opportunities in different ways

There is no standard approach to the intern search. The top ways students search for internships are through online searches, talking with friends and family, attending career fairs, and visiting internship websites.

There’s more than one way to find interns. When recruiting interns, don’t just use one platform to announce an opportunity. Post the internship on your website and on internship boards and websites. Although students spend a lot of their time online, campus career fairs aren’t outdated. Attend these events to meet with students face-to-face and spread the word about your internship the old-fashioned way.


Students want more than work experience

Students are hungry for more than information on their chosen career path -- they want to learn how to get there. Among students surveyed, 40.9 percent are looking for information on how to better leverage their personal networks. In addition, students without internship experience said they need help with resume design and interview preparation.

You can use this need for career advice to draw in interns. Create job search guides and tools and publish them on your career site. You can also share relevant career resources on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Sharing useful information students are looking for will drive interns to your site and will represent your company as a trusted employer.


What do you think? What internship trends have you noticed?

Nathan Parcells is the VP of Marketing at Looksharp, which operates InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers. Connect with Nathan and InternMatch on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


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