The conversion rate (defined as interns becoming full-time workers with their employers) was low, according to Linkedin’s career expert Nicole Williams.
“Ten years ago an internship was the golden key to employment whereas in this competitive landscape only the strongest survive with a job offer,” she explained.
Accounting internships had the highest conversion rates, at 31%. Here are the other top industries:
Management Consulting: 25%
Computer Software: 24%
Information Technology & Services: 22%
The industries with the lowest conversion rates:
Generally speaking, internships are important in securing employment after graduation. But unpaid internships seem to offer minimal benefits in that regard, and other factors must be considered in assessing the value of getting work experience during college. Variations by industry are important, as well as by the types of job duties.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that last year the overall conversion rate was 51%. Considering anecdotal information about the popularity of unpaid internships, this is hard to believe. NACE’s numbers come from surveying their own members, which I suspect are self-selected to skew toward more positive results.