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Intern Hiring Is Stable For 2024, Report Says

Eight out of 10 employers are expected to maintain or increase the number of interns they bring in, according to a NACE survey.

As new stars are about to be born through summer internships at public accounting firms across the nation, a new report found that employers across all professions are likely to bring on as many interns this summer as they did last summer.

Overall, eight out of 10 employers taking part in the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2024 Internship & Co-op survey expect to maintain (47.2%) or increase (32.2%) the number of interns they bring in, even though they anticipate their overall entry-level hiring to decrease.

“That stability points to the value employers place on their internship programs,” Shawn VanDerziel, NACE’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “For many organizations, internships are an important means for recruiting college talent for entry-level jobs.”

On average, the 283 organizations that responded to the survey reported converting nearly 53% of their eligible interns into full-time, entry-level hires.

“Converted interns offer significant additional benefits for employers,” the NACE says. “First, interns who have converted to full-time employees are much quicker to onboard and train because they have already gone through many of those processes during their internship. Second, interns who become employees are retained at higher rates than other hires: 75.5% are still with the organization after their first year on the job compared to 51.5% of non-intern employees.”

Many employers say they are looking for students with a skill set that matches up with the internship experience, but “a previous internship experience—either with the organization or in the industry—also gives the student an edge,” VanDerziel said.

NACE’s survey also found that 60% of organizations will have this summer’s crop of interns work in a hybrid environment, which aligns with results from other NACE studies of college students and employers.

“We see that, in general, students prefer the hybrid environment and that employers recognize and are willing to act on that preference,” VanDerziel said.