January 11, 2012

Internships in College Leads to 24% Higher Pay

There is some interesting stuff in the paper  Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy published by researchers at Rutgers.  The study found that the median pay for people who had internships in college ended up making higher beginning salaries once they graduated.

Table 2 in the paper lists : Median Pay for Recent College Graduates

Median pay for grads who Did internship was $34,680
For grads with No internship it was $28,000

That is about 24% higher pay for the recent graduates with internship experience.

I would not conclude that this is a simple direct cause and effect relationship.   In other words simply having an internship won't guarantee you higher pay.  I also doubt that employers are willing to fork over 25% more pay on average just because your resume has an internship listed.

I assume that the higher pay is a combination of things.   People with internships are going to have more experience in the field and are therefore more likely to get jobs related to their field.    If you have no experience it will be harder to get a job and more people without such experience may end up having a hard time finding a job related to their major and settling for any job they can find.    Furthermore the people more likely to pursue internships are also more likely to be more aggressive in their job searches.

However I'm sure that an internship will help you with some real world experience that will be valuable in your job hunt.  I also assume that employers look on it favorably and are more willing to extend jobs and even higher wages to people with internships versus those without internships.

Its a very good idea to get internship experience in college.


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