The Evolution of the Internship

It’s hard to believe that the predecessor of today’s internship came to life in the 11th century. The interns of the past were actually apprentices seeking practical experience to grow their skill set in a trade, art, or calling.

Today, students embark on internships during their college years to gain out-of-the-classroom experience prior to entering their industry. But just like the 11th century, internships are key to gaining the necessary experience to get hired in a full-time position.

InternMatch, an online platform connecting the best intern candidates and employers, compiled the infographic below which showcases the impact internships have had on our world. In the 80s, only 3 percent of college students completed an internship, but today, 47 percent of employers boast structured internship programs. Here are some key points to note:

  • 37% of students say internships are a good job search resource
  • 81% of employers find they have better experiences with new hires that have intern experience
  • 33% of employers hire virtual interns, a 20% increase from 2011 to 2012
  • The average wage rate for interns at bachelor’s level is $16.21

What do you think? Do you think internships will continue to evolve into a mandatory aspect of every career?

Related: Do Internships Really Lead to Job Opportunities?


By Heather R. Huhman

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert and founder & president of Come Recommended, a career and workplace education and consulting firm specializing in young professionals.