What are employers planning to do about their 2021 summer internship programs?

Posted December 22, 2020 by

A lot of people believe that most people are employed by small businesses. If you consider the owners to be employees then that may be true, but what is also true is that most college and university students are employed by large businesses and most of that hiring is now done through internship programs. As a result, it has never been more important for students to successfully complete at least one internship prior to graduation as that typically leads to an entry-level job upon graduation.

Most of the large employers who advertise their internship and entry-level job openings with College Recruiter are quite uncertain about their summer 2021 plans, primarily because they’re quite uncertain about when it will be safe to re-open their offices and what process they’ll need to follow. They all expect to know a lot more in April than they will in February, but the bulk of internship hiring occurs in January and February so they expect to be working with very incomplete information. As a result, what we’re seeing from most of these employers is planning for the worst but hoping for the best. In other words, they’re planning for their 2021 internships to be virtual like they were in 2020 but hoping that at least some of their interns will be able to spend at least some of their summers in the offices. 

Last summer, COVID snuck up on many employers and they often didn’t announce their plans until April or even May. Some terminated their programs before they started, others greatly shortened them and made them virtual, and others kept them the same duration but virtual. This year, COVID has been front-of-mind for all employers and they’ll all have had the opportunity to consider their options and implement their plans. We expect most employers to do a good job, but it seems inevitable that some will not and will then suffer from a talent shortage for years.

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Posted in Advice for Employers and Recruiters, Career Advice for Job Seekers | Tagged