Study finds that largest employers of college students discriminate against people of color

Posted July 31, 2020 by

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) just completed an analysis of data that it gathered in 2019 about the internship hiring practices of employers. Sadly but not unexpectedly, NACE found that, as a whole, employers discriminate against people of color when hiring and paying interns.

NACE surveyed 3,952 graduating seniors from the Class of 2019 to determine how many never had an internship, had an unpaid internship, and had a paid internship. Other studies have demonstrated the importance of successfully completing a paid internship: students who graduate with paid internships are more likely to be employed in their chosen career field upon graduation and be paid better than those who only had unpaid internships and those who had unpaid internships were more likely to be employed in their chosen career field upon graduation and be paid better than those without any internship.

According to the new study:

  • Non-Hispanic, white students made up 74 percent of paid interns but only made up 71 percent of respondents;
  • Black students made up six percent of paid interns but made up 6.6 percent of respondents; and
  • Hispanic students made up 9.9 percent of paid interns but made up 10 percent of respondents.

The first two were different enough to be statistically significant. The third was not. In other words, when employers hire paid interns, they’re discriminating against black students.

Other observations from the NACE analysis:

  • White students are more likely to be paid interns than unpaid or never interns;
  • African-American students are more likely to be unpaid interns;
  • Asian-American students are more likely to be paid interns;
  • Hispanic-American students are more likely to never have an internship than an unpaid or paid internship;
  • Multi-racial Americans are more likely to be unpaid or never interns; and
  • International students on F1 visas are more likely to be paid interns and are rarely unpaid.

College Recruiter is on the verge of publishing salary data for every job advertised on its site. We are doing so to help even the playing field by bringing more pay transparency to the employment of students and recent graduates. No longer will students with less information than others be paid less than they deserve, as all students will know what employers in their geographic area pay for that particular job. Employers will be encouraged to disclose what they pay for a particular job but, if they won’t, then we will publish the going rate for that job in that geographic area. We expect this new feature to be live in August.

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