Opinion: Make Internships a College Graduation Requirement


Requiring undergraduates to complete an internship would benefit both students and colleges, according to Brandon Busteed, executive director for education and workforce development at Gallup.

“The top reason students, parents, and the public value higher education is to get a good job,” Busteed noted in a blog post co-written by Zac Auter, a consulting analyst at Gallup. “Yet, among bachelor degree graduates from 2002-2016, only 27 percent had a good job waiting for them upon graduation.”

Gallup data shows that grads with internship experience are twice as likely to land a position right out of college.

“By emphasizing — or even requiring — relevant jobs and internships as part of the undergraduate experience, colleges and universities set their graduates up to acquire good jobs after graduation in fields where their work is directly relevant to their undergraduate studies,” Busteed noted. “And, as a result, these students recognize the value of their investment in their degree.”

Among recent graduates, “those who strongly agree their education was worth the cost are also twice as likely to have donated to their alma mater in the last 12 months,” Gallup data shows.

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Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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