National University System Institute for Policy Research

(858) 642-8498 Get Started

EconoMeter: Are unpaid internships worth it?

They can be path to success - but not guaranteed


Friday, May 4, 2012

View Article

Kelly Cunningham, National University System
Answer: YES

Real world exposure working in a desired field may be immeasurably beneficial, even if not directly leading to full-time employment with the company. Although monetary compensation may not be provided, unpaid internships provide value in other ways. With inside views of industry, one can grow their professional network and gain applicable skills not learned in a classroom setting. Internships are like practical exams, study abroad, or any other out of class assignment. Applicable knowledge and experience gained from an internship will help shape the way one approaches and executes work and provide a résumé advantage over other job applicants.