By Torilynn Qualls |Staff Writer|
College graduates all over the country are coming up short on opportunities and job offers after completing their unpaid internships and obtaining their degrees.
“Unpaid internships don’t seem to be giving college kids a leg up when it comes time to look for employment”, stated The Atlantic.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), “Only 37 percent of unpaid interns got an offer after graduation; that’s not much better than the results for those with no internship—35.2 percent received at least one job offer.”
Redlands University graduate, Christina Cooper, like many other students, took an unpaid internship opportunity.
She expressed that many of these opportunities result in, “working your butt off for someone for free and in return not receiving that ‘full-time paid position’ they claimed they had when you went in for the interview.”
A recent NACE presentation stated, “unpaid interns managed roughly the same or worse in the job market compared to non-interns across a variety of fields, including; Business, Communications, Engineering, English, and Political Science.”
This data exemplifies that the necessity for an unpaid internship seems to be nonessential; based on the fact that students who did not complete an internship are roughly in the same position bracket as students who did, and have the work experience that should place them in a higher position.
All is not lost for future unpaid interns; in recent news the U.S. Department of Labor has established regulations that control whether or not an internship must be qualified as paid or unpaid.
Federal District Judge, William H. Pauley III, has established six standards to whether or not an intern qualifies to work unpaid.
These standards can be summarized as follows, “nobody loses their job to the intern; the company doesn’t benefit from their presence; and the program needs a serious training component along the lines of a vocational school or academic setting,” stated The Atlantic.
If an intern’s job deviates from these six principles, the intern legally must be paid the federal minimum wage.
Judge Pauley ruled that Fox Searchlight should have paid two interns on the movie “Black Swan,” because they were regular employees, because their work helped the franchise win the Academy Award in 2011.
Based on these regulations, The Atlantic stated, “the risk of getting sued is great enough that companies may start to view unpaid interns as a reckless liability.”
New York University School of Law Professor Samuel Estreicher said, “Most potential employers are going to be very wary of getting involved in unpaid internships.”
The consensus is that unpaid internships may start to become more scarce, because they are a liability to companies.
Job opportunities that unpaid interns receive are relatively equivalent to not having a internship at all.
However, companies rely on interns for labor. They initially hire these unpaid interns, because they need them.
It is in high hopes that unpaid internships will grow scarce and there will be a rise in paid internships.