How important are internships to graduate employment?

Research this year as shown how important internships are to graduates, both in providing them invaluable experience and getting a foot in the door at companies. Internships are typically short term contracts with students over the summer holidays while universities are in reccees. Internships are typically unpaid, but that is not always the case with some paying for travel, lunch or a fee towards employment. They have proved to be very important for employment after university, with many graduates returning to the employer they did an internship with. The Institute of Student Employers (ISE) Internship Report found that 94% of employers encourage interns to return as employees.

Internship opportunities vary with the industry, with IT and Finance being very keen to hire talent, especially in new and emerging markets. Typically internships are held at larger corporations like Barclays or Goldmann Sachs, but this isn’t always the case. More Employers are hiring interns during the summer period, and the Report found that employers hired 6% more interns in 2018. Internships therefore are becoming readily available, but like all jobs, they are sourcing the top talent and students will be battling an international market for vacancies.

Internships are also changing, with opportunities for students within university and not in their penultimate year. Many students are seeing the value of work experience and are utilizing their free time in the summer to work, with many in first or second year. Internships have proven to increase employment opportunities, so it is worth the time to do. However, although you may be tempted to do the same thing every year, if you’re lucky enough to be invited back, make sure you work in different environments. The exposure to different environments, people and ways of working will ultimately build your own skills and add value to you - it will also help when focussing on your job search after university.  

Moreover, there is greater investment within Internships and Internship programmes. The Institute of Student Employers (ISE) Internship Report found that in its survey of 107 employers, there was an investment of at least £13 million to recruit 7,532 paid interns in 2018. Moreover, these roles were not exclusive to London, with 52% of Internship opportunities available outside London.  Employers also see the value in internships as they find interns stay longer with the Company in the long run, and are therefore effective employees who have real potential to progress.

Therefore, combined with investment and employer awareness, there are growing internship opportunities throughout the UK. At IT Graduate Recruitment we work with top UK companies and can help you start your graduate career. Some of our clients are recruiting summer interns already, so get in touch today to find out more.  

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