Most interns are hired through job boards and other off-campus, virtual programs

Posted April 20, 2018 by


When most people — including employers — think of hiring interns, they think of hiring them on-campus with the assistance of the college career service office as well as professors and other faculty. And those people would be wrong. Some interesting information came out today from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) regarding the sources of hire for interns.

NACE’s membership is heavily skewed to large employers so those are the employers are receive and respond to its surveys. You must consider that when looking at their survey results, understanding that it isn’t a random sample. In other words, their data don’t accurately reflect the hiring practices of all employers. At best, it reflects the hiring practices of the large employers that make up the bulk of its membership.

That said, the larger the organization, the more likely it is that the employer engages in on-campus recruitment. Smaller employers tend to be more reactive and advertise more online for interns and other entry-level employees. So when NACE’s study shows that most interns are not hired through on-campus hiring, that’s saying a lot. It implies that a large majority of interns are hired through job boards and other off-campus, virtual programs. Here is their data:

MEAN 2018 MEAN 2017
Interns Open applications 55.2% 50.5%
Direct career center contacts 36.6% 40.0%
Direct faculty contacts 8.2% 9.5%
Co-ops Open applications 51.7% 47.0%
Direct career center contacts 39.3% 43.9%
Direct faculty contacts 8.2% 9.2%

Source: 2018 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers

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