OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Transitioning from college to career can be a daunting thought for many students. Oftentimes internships can give students a look at what they can expect after graduating.
But last year, the workforce changed drastically, leaving some interns behind and challenging others to adapt.
“Those internships that were about to happen, last year they were in limbo," said Joe Hayes, associate director of Career Development & Employer Relations within UNO’s Academic & Career Development Center. "Many did not happen, many rescinded, many went to virtual.”
A survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers last April, found that over half of employers planned to go virtual with their internships and a quarter planned to reduce the number of interns brought on.
But this year, Hayes says things are looking brighter.
“We saw almost record-high numbers of employers that were participating in our events this spring," Hayes said. "So hopefully that translates into record numbers of hires as well.”
Intern hiring is only expected to be down half a percent this year, compared to the 2.8% projected increase for 2020 that was calculated before the pandemic began.
Employers are projected to hire 7% more college graduates.
Many internships are staying virtual or using a hybrid model in 2021, which is not entirely a disadvantage.
“A real benefit for internships now is that they can be remote so that students can continue to get this experiential learning that they may not have had otherwise," Hayes said.
He also said students who are learning to intern from home now might be the best prepared to enter the current workforce.
“Students doing these internships, I think they are only separating themselves from the rest by getting connected early.”