For many young adults, their first few years of college can be a stressful time period. While today the US economy boasts a low unemployment rate of 4.5% despite the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many college students are still concerned with their employability and future job prospects. In order to more successfully stand out during their future job search, college students must first recognize what qualities employers are looking for in an ideal candidate. Since 2015, InternWorks has supplied high school and college students with a variety of customized in-person and virtual internships with guaranteed placement. Below, InternWorks will discuss how in-person and virtual internships can improve employability and help college students stand out in their future job searches.
Improve Likelihood of Multiple Offers of Employment
In recent years, a variety of college graduate surveys have shown that internships directly affect the number of job offers college graduates receive. According to results from the Class of 2019 Student Survey from the National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), 53.2% of all graduating seniors who applied for full-time jobs receive at least one job offer. However, of this group, 57.5 percent were students who had completed an internship. Other surveys have shown students who have internship experience receive 1.17 job offers after graduation, while those who had not completed internships received 0.98 job offers, a 16% decrease.
The Value of Work Experience
One of the most common roadblocks many college graduates face in their job search is a lack of previous work experience. In the last ten years, the number of entry-level positions requiring previous work experience has grown. According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017, nearly 91% of employers say they prefer candidates with prior work experience, with 65% of the total group reporting they would prefer candidates with relevant work experience. Internships provide college students with a rare opportunity to not only gain work experience but relevant experience in their desired field. For this reason, college freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to seek out internships in industries they are interested in working in post-graduation.
The Power of Networking
Today, more than 85% of open positions are filled through networking. Internships provide college freshmen and sophomores with the opportunity to build connections within a potential industry, increasing their likelihood of future employment. One of the many reasons that networking is an essential aspect of employability is due to the fact that upwards of 70% of all open positions are unlisted. Through internships, college students can connect with industry professionals and increase their likelihood of being considered for many of these unlisted positions.