Internship experience is needed but getting it is impossible

Despite the benefits, there has been an increasing struggle to get said internships. | Screenshot of application status on Workday

Ruth Santana | Contributing Writer

It’s internship season and as always they are hard to find and even harder to get into. Experience is a requirement for any job, but slim pickings and increased competition have created a battlefield where few will survive.  

Internships are a great tool for college students because they offer an entrance into their chosen field while providing connections, experience and better acquainting themselves with the inner workings of the organization they might want to work with in the future. 

Despite the benefits, there has been an increasing struggle to get said internships.

Students who participate in an internship receive twice as many job offers and are more likely to get paid a higher salary compared to college students without internship experience. Companies also use internships as a way to field future employees and it is a great way for students to apply the information they learned in college to the real world.

Ironically, a considerable amount of internships require previous experience (which is usually acquired through internships), making it an endless and vicious cycle. 

There has been increased competition and fewer opportunities for internships leaving the market barren. In 2023 internship job listings were down 15% and applications were up 50%. Therefore increases the struggle for college students to pursue their chosen field and take a crucial first step toward their careers. 

As a journalism major most internship opportunities lie outside of Florida. Although these internships are usually paid, they do not cover the average living costs in the cities where they are offered. 

Not to mention the cost of moving and the struggles of living in a new city all by yourself. Though it can be an exciting chapter, it may only be achievable for some college students.

There is also the issue of unpaid internships. Although they offer experience, education and connections within your chosen field, students who rely on their own income may not be able to pursue those options. A study in 2022 found that 47% of internships are unpaid.

Students are forced to juggle an unpaid internship and a job at the same time in order to make ends meet- that shouldn’t be the case.

Though internship availability, location and salary vary by major, it is an obstacle every college student is facing. A lack of experience greatly impacts future employment opportunities but this will not get any better if current employers refuse to increase paid internship opportunities.


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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