RANDALL BENTON / rbenton@sacbee.com

Bee file, 2013. Trixy Lobdell, left, of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, talks with student Gabriella De Carolis at the Internship Information Fair at Cosumnes River College.

Job Front: Paid internships often bring paying jobs for college grads

Published: Monday, Jun. 3, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Monday, Jun. 3, 2013 - 8:45 am

Paid internships are turning into paying jobs for 2013 college graduates.

More than 60 percent of 2013 grads who snagged paid internships won at least one job offer. In addition, paid interns far outearned their counterparts with unpaid internships.

The findings are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers in its survey of college students in its 2013 Student Survey, announced Thursday.

The association collected responses from more than 9,200 seniors earning bachelor's degrees.

The survey found that nearly two-thirds of 2013 grads with paid internships – 63 percent – received job offers.

But just 37 percent of graduates who had unpaid internships received job offers, students told the survey.

About 35 percent of 2013 graduates without internships picked up job offers, the survey found.

This was the third year that NACE has collected data on paid and unpaid interns.

The results have changed little, said Marilyn Mackes, the association's executive director, in a statement announcing the findings.

About six in 10 2012 graduates with paid internships won job offers, with many working on tasks such as analysis and project management, the association reported in its 2012 survey.

But the results are clear, Mackes said.

"In each survey, paid interns exceeded their peers in job offers and starting salaries," Mackes said.

The median starting salary for new graduates who had paid internships was $51,930, according to the survey.

Median starting salaries for grads with unpaid internships was about $36,000 – slightly less than grads with no internships, whose median starting salaries were about $37,000, according to the student survey.

But while graduates who held paid internships won larger starting salaries than their counterparts without paid-internship experience, average hourly wages for bachelor's and master's degree paid interns remained relatively flat, according to NACE.

The average wage for bachelor's degree interns rose slightly to $16.26 an hour, compared with $16.21 in 2012, according to NACE.

Meanwhile, master's degree interns dropped 3 cents to $21.90 an hour.

The top wage earners among bachelor's degree interns were in engineering ($20.36), computer science ($18.96), and mathematics ($18.15).

Among master's degree interns, engineering majors earned the highest hourly wage at $24.43 an hour.

Physical sciences at $23.58, mathematics at $23.40 and business majors at $23.02, followed close behind, according to NACE.

Job-hunt questions?

We've got an expert to provide the answers.

Terri Carpenter, spokeswoman with the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, will answer your questions at www.sacbee.com/personalfinanceblog.

Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

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