The Role of Internships in the Hiring Process


Do internships really help students get hired after graduation, or are they overrated? What are some of the factors that determine whether an internship leads to a job offer?

As a student, you may have heard that internships are an essential part of your career journey. But with so many internship opportunities available, it’s natural to wonder if they really make a difference in your chances of getting hired after graduation. Let’s take a closer look at the role of internships in the hiring process and what factors determine whether an internship leads to a job offer.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that internships can be incredibly valuable for gaining practical experience, building a professional network, and enhancing your resume. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 95% of employers believe that candidate experience is a factor in their hiring decisions, and internships are a great way to gain that experience.

However, simply completing an internship does not guarantee a job offer. The factors that determine whether an internship leads to a job offer are complex and varied, but here are a few key considerations:

  1. Quality of the internship: The quality of the internship experience plays a major role in whether it leads to a job offer. If the internship is well-structured and provides meaningful learning opportunities, it can help you develop relevant skills and demonstrate your value as a potential employee.

  2. Performance during the internship: Your performance during the internship can make a big impact on whether you receive a job offer. Make sure to show up on time, be proactive, and take initiative to show your dedication and work ethic.

  3. Networking and relationship building: Building relationships with your colleagues and supervisors during your internship can be a valuable way to stay connected to the industry and potential job opportunities. Make sure to keep in touch after the internship ends, and reach out to your contacts for advice and support in your job search.

  4. Demand for your skills: Ultimately, the job market and demand for your skills will play a significant role in whether you receive a job offer. Make sure to research the job market and trends in your industry to understand what skills are in demand and how you can position yourself as a valuable candidate.

Here are some additional references: 

  1. A study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that 66% of employers believe that internship experience is an important factor in their hiring decisions. The same study also revealed that 56% of interns were offered full-time positions after completing their internship.

  2. A survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) found that 84% of employers believe that students should have at least one internship or similar experience before graduation.

  3. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor, 47% of college graduates who had an internship in their field of study received at least one job offer within six months of graduation.

  4. A study by the Chronicle of Higher Education found that students who completed internships were more likely to graduate on time and have higher GPAs than their peers who did not complete internships.

  5. LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report found that roles related to data science, digital marketing, and software engineering are among the most popular for recent graduates, and that internships and apprenticeships are an effective way to gain experience in these fields.

  6. A survey conducted by InternMatch found that 56% of companies with 100 or more employees hired their interns for full-time positions, and that 42% of smaller companies also offered full-time positions to their interns.

By taking into account these statistics and reports, it becomes clear that internships can play a crucial role in the hiring process, as they provide students with valuable experience, skills, and connections in their chosen field. This experience can not only make graduates more competitive in the job market, but also increase their chances of receiving job offers and advancing in their careers.

In conclusion, internships can be a great way to gain practical experience, build your professional network, and enhance your resume. However, they are not a guarantee of a job offer, and the factors that determine whether an internship leads to a job offer are complex and varied. If you are interested in pursuing an internship, make sure to carefully consider the quality of the opportunity, focus on performing well during the internship, build relationships with colleagues and supervisors, and research the job market and demand for your skills.


  • National Association of Colleges and Employers. (2021). Job Outlook 2021. Retrieved from
  • Ambler, T. (2018). The Value of Internships: The Influence of Internship on the Employability of Undergraduate Students. Journal of Education and Work, 31(3), 277-289. doi: 10.1080/13639080.2017.1415465
  • Koc, E. & Hortaçsu, N. (2019). The impact of internships on employment outcomes: evidence from a quasi-experimental design in Turkey. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 11(1), 1-23. doi: 10.1186/s40461-019-0086-8


What do you think about all this? Are you up to it?

If this topic interests you, check out our latest post, ‘Top Industries for Internships in the USA’, or the section of our blog dedicated to Internships.

Vera Rocha

Growth Digital Marketing Manager of Internships USA

Also you may be interested in...

Be part of it too

Live a unique experience, discover your full potential and start speaking English like a native.  Get in touch with us and we’ll explain it all to you.