A survey found that paid interns were more likely to get a job and receive higher salaries post-grad, compared to unpaid interns.
Read the full article at: fortune.com
Though this article is written from the perspective of the intern, it provides compelling data for leaders to think about the practice of not paying their interns.
For the intern, the first line sums it up. “Taking an unpaid internship may boost your resume, but it won’t do much to help you get a job…Interns who were paid at private, for-profit companies had a 72% chance of getting a job offer, compared to just 44% of unpaid interns…Unpaid interns at state and local government agencies fared the worst, with only a 34% chance of getting a job offer after graduation.”
And then there’s the salary issue. It seems students who have paid internships get better starting salaries than unpaid interns. For private, for profit companies the median starting salary offers for paid interns was $53,521, compared to $34,375 for students with unpaid internships. “The same held true across industry sectors—nonprofit ($41,876 vs. $31,443), state/local government ($42,693 vs. $32,969), and federal government sectors ($48,750 vs. $42,501).”
Now from the company perspective, it’s the potential for lawsuits, though the results vary:
- Former unpaid interns sued and “…a judge ruled in favor of the interns, and Fox Searchlight Pictures began paying their interns minimum wage.”
- “Unpaid interns sued the Hearst Corporation with similar claims, but the judge ruled in favor of the Hearst Corporation.”
- “In October 2014, NBCUniversal settled a lawsuit brought by former unpaid interns of “Saturday Night Live” and other shows for $6.4 million.”
- Rolling Stone magazine and CBS Corp. were also sued by former interns for labor violations.
It seems, for both the intern and the company, unpaid internships may ultimately come with a hefty price tag.
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