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Benefits to Students

Most employers, like you, are aware of the benefits internships offer to college students, and many want to serve their communities by helping students move from college life to productive careers. With the experience, connections and perspectives gained from a successful internship, graduates are more certain of their career choices, more knowledgeable about how to contribute to the organization that hires them, and capable of being productive more quickly.

Internships and related practical experiences, depending on students' majors, give them more than just a taste of their future careers. Those experiences also lead to jobs. According to results of a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers rated their internship programs as the most effective recruiting method they use for hiring new college graduates; they hired more than 38 percent of their interns into full-time positions.  In terms of starting salary offers, there is a definite financial advantage for students who have internship experience, according to results of NACE’s 2010 Student Survey. Overall, students in the Class of 2010 who had internships received an average salary offer of $41,580. Meanwhile, their classmates who didn’t take internships received an average starting salary offer of $34,601.  By major, the biggest discrepancy came among computer science majors; those with internship experience received an average starting salary offer of $58,920 while those without internships received an offer of $45,000.  

"Experiential education assignments are outstanding ways for students and employers to try each other out. Participating in an internship or co-op can help students decide if they really are suited to a particular profession or organization. In turn, employers can assess student performance on-site and in their corporate culture and, if they like what they see, can work to convert the student into a full-time employee upon graduation."

- Marilyn Mackes, executive director
National Association of Colleges and Employers