Considerations for Developing an Internship Program
By Greg Beaubien and John Elsasser
For interns and companies alike, internships hold both promise and peril.
For college students — and sometimes, even for retirees — internships are a chance to gain work experience related to their fields of study or career goals. Internships also help organizations invest in their own futures by nurturing up-and-coming talent (and having them perform necessary work).
And then there’s the peril: Unpaid internships can be controversial and even violate labor laws. According to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 40% of college students working as interns were not paid. Some argue this unpaid work still compensates young people by giving them valuable exposure to industries in which they hope to start careers. Others say unpaid internships exploit free labor from young workers eager to get a foot in the door, so companies can avoid paying wages that would otherwise go to entry-level employees.
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