Older Workers Muscle Out Students for InternshipsAugust 31, 2010 by Steven Rothberg
Competition for internships will be stiff this fall, as experienced/mature workers and college students vie for ways to get a foot in the door. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of employers report that they are seeing experienced workers, those with more than ten years experience, and mature workers, workers age 50 or older, apply for internships at their organizations. This is according to a CareerBuilder survey conducted among more than 2,500 employers between May 18 and June 3, 2010.
Regardless of applicants’ ages, more than one-quarter (27 percent) of employers said they plan to hire interns during the remainder of 2010 to help support workloads. Fourteen percent said they anticipate hiring paid interns, while 7 percent said they won’t be paying their interns. An additional 5 percent said they will hire both paid and unpaid interns. Fifty-three percent of employers said they plan to pay interns $10 or more per hour, while 5 percent said they will pay $25 or more per hour.
When it comes to responsibilities, employers reported the following tasks that interns at their organizations typically handle:
- Hands-on experience related to their goals – 73 percent
- Office support – 52 percent
- Working with customers – 35 percent
- Running errands – 23 percent
- Office maintenance – 19 percent
“The last 18 months have reshaped internships as more than an experience-builder for college students. Now, they’re also a way for experienced workers to explore new opportunities,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Internships can act as an extended, full-time job interview and potentially lead to more opportunities for college students and for more seasoned employees. In fact, 52 percent of companies we surveyed said they are likely to hire interns as full-time, permanent employees.”
Haefner recommends the following tips to help land an internship this fall:
- Get connected: When applying for an internship, ask family and friends if they know anyone who works in the field you’re interested in. As in any job search, an “in” at a company may help you land a job – especially if the company doesn’t have an established internship program.
- Start your search now: If you think you’ll have time to do an internship in the fall, start looking as soon as you can. Visit sites like CollegeRecruiter.com for internship listings.
- Be open-minded: Be open to a variety of different organizations, such as local charities or even small start-ups. Organizations with limited budgets are often especially receptive to the extra help an intern provides.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,534 U.S. hiring managers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non government); ages 18 and over between May 18 and June 3, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset of U.S. Employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,534 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.95 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
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