Unpaid internships are a great way to get ahead as well as exploitative and unfair. So... are they good or bad?
Yet the study found that half of those employers haven't hired any interns in the past six months, revealing a fundamental disconnect between internship theory and practice. A couple decades ago, interns may have expected to at least get hired by the same company for whom they gave up their summers. But today, some companies apparently only want interns in the abstract.
Should more American students take a year off between high school and college to gain real-world experience, tangible skills, and some maturity? That's the thinking behind "gap years," a purposefully planned year of volunteer work and internships. Although they're growing in popularity in the States, they're still not as common here as they are in some other parts of the developed world. But after 12 years of studying, maybe encouraging graduates to take a year off and apply that book learning isn't a bad idea.