Internship in US – 70.8 Percent of employers want to convert students into full-time, entry-level employees survey finds

Key findings


  • Nearly all respondents to this survey had a formal internship program (92.0 percent). Less Capture d’écran 2015-06-15 à 09.02.35than half had a co-op program (45.1 percent).
  • The primary focus of most employers’ internship and co-op programs is to convert students into full-time, entry-level employees (70.8 percent and 62.6 percent, respectively).
  • Very few employers required their interns and co-ops to arrange to receive academic credit for program participation.


  • Intern hiring decreased by 3.4 percent in 2014 and then remained unchanged in 2015.
  • Co-op hiring growth is unchanged in 2015.
  • In 2015, the intern conversion rate was 51.7 percent. The co-op conversion rate was 37.8 percent
  • The Interns and co-ops most likely to be converted into full-time hires are those who have worked for a single employer on multiple occasions.
  • Where an employee held his or her previous internship or co-op experience was influential in affecting five-year retention rates.


  • Employers begin planning for intern recruitment seven months before the position is scheduled to start. For co-ops, employers begin an average of six months in advance.
  • In terms of both funding and effectiveness ratings, employers strongly favored career/job fairs and other on-campus recruiting activities to recruit interns and co-ops.
  • Four target school selection criteria stand out as key factors: the geographic location of the school, the majors it offers, the perceived quality of its programs, and the employers’ past recruiting experience at that school.
  • Overall, the most highly regarded skills for interns and co-ops are the ability to work in a team, the ability to obtain and process information, organizational and planning skills, verbal communication skills, and decision- making/problem-solving skills.


• The average hourly intern wage for bachelor’s degree-level interns in 2015 is $17.20.
• The highest salaries for bachelor’s degree-level interns were reported for computer science and engineering
majors, while the lowest were reported for education, liberal arts, and social science majors.
• The average hourly wage rate for co-ops at the bachelor’s level is $17.36.
• The highest paid bachelor’s degree co-ops were reported in the oil and gas extraction and chemical
(pharmaceutical) manufacturing industries.
• It was relatively uncommon for employers to provide employee benefits to either interns or co-ops (33.5 percent and 21.3 percent, respectively).

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at NACE’s 2015 Internship & Co-op Survey 


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