May 4th, 2010
As the graduates of 2009 already know and the upcoming graduates of 2010 may soon find out, times are tough when it comes to finding a job. Hiring levels in 2009 were at the lowest they had been in decades, especially since the economy's slowdown meant that more employees were laid off rather than hired. Yet, there is a silver lining on the ominous Hiring Freeze Cloud, especially for newer college graduates: internships.
Internships have long been used to help college students earn the working experience they need to prove to employers that they can handle the responsibilities of the field. Today, that is still true and many college graduates are taking advantage of internships in lieu of holding a steady job. College students and recent college graduates often have the luxury of being able to take internships because they do not have many pressing financial responsibilities, such as the cost of raising a family or paying off a mortgage. In addition, in these trying times where everyone is looking to save where they can, it is no longer a social stigma to live at home until luck turns around. This means that college graduates can essentially for free at home while participating in an internship as they wait for the job market to improve.
The competition for open positions is fierce. Professionals who were laid off from their previous companies are now the college graduate's rivals when it comes to landing a job. This unfortunately decreases the probability of getting hired for inexperienced college graduates. Yet, in the meantime, graduates can participate in the plethora of internships that have opened up in companies across the nation. They can still work in the field, though the pay is often non-existent (or so low that it might as well be non-existent). Many businesses are opening up intensive internship positions because they still need work done but cannot afford to hire additional staff. This means that college graduates have the chance to work in a number of companies as interns, gaining valuable work experience that can give them the edge over other applicants when the market picks back up. In addition, working at an internship will keep the graduate's skills sharp and show future employers that he or she is dedicated.
Recent college graduates have an amazing opportunity to work in internships while they await the recovery of the job market. Working as an intern will not only keep them busy and active, but it will also benefit their future careers.