Under the headline “Interns Get A Head Start In Competition For Jobs,” the Wall Street Journal (5/16, Light, Subscription Publication) reports that more and more entry-level positions are being filled by people who formerly interned with the companies advertising the openings. According to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the percentage has risen from 30% in 2005 to 40% last year. At some companies that number is even higher, although experts say in some cases the percentage is skewed by slower overall hiring. Still, they add, the finding emphasizes the growing importance of internships to students’ post-education job prospects.
The Record (NJ) (5/15, Macinnes) reported NACE “last month reported that responding companies converted, on average, nearly 58 percent of their interns into full-time hires, up from two years ago, when businesses converted 53 percent of their internships.” And while the job outlook is brightening, competition remains fierce, which is leading some students to begin “their internships and work experience earlier – forgoing vacation plans even as early as freshman year.”
A related article in the Evansville (IN) Courier & Press (5/16, Langhorne), on the 2011 Job Outlook Spring Update from the NACE, reported the association found “that 174 of its employer members indicate they plan to hire an average of 19.3 percent more graduates this year than they did last year,” and that the ratio of applications to job openings has fallen from last year by roughly half. “Employers are, as always, keenly interested in hiring graduates with technical majors,” the article noted. Gene Wells, director of Career Services at the University of Evansville, said that internships were important even for in-demand majors such as engineering. “One of the things about engineering and business and in health sciences, is that you’re working toward your career aspirations essentially from the beginning,” he explained.