Internships Survey: Americans Split on Helpfulness of Internships

Internships have been used for years as a way to gain experience in an industry, make contacts, and even get college credit. Particularly in this tough job market, internships have become fairly common among college students and others. But lately some have questioned the helpfulness of internships, particularly unpaid ones. How many Americans have used internships to break into their industry? And how many think they are still useful?

internships

Internships

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, just 5% of respondents said they have had multiple internships. And 18% said they have had one internship. 52% of those respondents said they had an internship that was paid. And 55% worked at unpaid internships. Those who now work full time were 4% more likely to have been interns at some point. And those with a household income of $75,000 or more were 15% more likely to have been interns at some point.

Experience

Overall, 17% of respondents said they definitely think unpaid internships are good for gaining experience in a new industry. 67% said they can sometimes be a good idea. And 16% said they don’t ever think unpaid internships are a good idea. Those who have had internships were 3% more likely to think they are always a good idea and 6% more likely to think they are sometimes a good idea. Those who have had unpaid internships were 5% more likely to think they are always a good idea.

New Industries

On a personal level, just 18% of overall respondents said they would definitely take an unpaid or low paying internship if they needed to gain experience in a new industry. 54% said they probably would. 21% said they probably wouldn’t. And 8% said they definitely would not accept an unpaid or low paying internship to gain experience.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Interns don’t get to stand from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on July 2 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anne Pilon
Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.