Employers Want Internship Experience Over Everything Else

by | Feb 14, 2017 | Resume & Interview

Guest Post by Jeannie Burlowski, an academic strategist and speaker. Her newly released 344-page book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward lays out clear, step-by-step strategies that empower parents to get their kids through high quality, best-fit colleges debt-free — and then directly into jobs they love afterward.

Do you believe that myth, “If I don’t attend a top school, I won’t get a good job when I graduate”?

(You can see the article I wrote debunking this myth here.)

The graph at the bottom of today’s post is going to make you feel instantly better.

For every student who fears that their college isn’t good enough, here’s great news. Today I’m featuring excerpts from a brilliant article written by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic.

Thompson boldly tackles the question:

“Do employers really care what college you went to? What do they actually look at when deciding whether or not to hire a new college grad?”

Thompson writes:

When I was 17, if you asked me how I planned on getting a job in the future, I think I would have said: Get into the right college. When I was 18, if you asked me the same question, I would have said: Get into the right classes. When I was 19: Get good grades.

But . . .

When employers recently named the most important elements in hiring a recent graduate, college reputation, GPA, and courses finished at the bottom of the list.

At the top, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, were experiences outside of academics:Internships, jobs, volunteering, and (relevant) extracurriculars.

“When employers do hire from college, the evidence suggests that academic skills are not their primary concern,” says Peter Cappelli, a Wharton professor and the author of a new paper on job skills.

Work experience is the #1 thing employers look for in a new hire candidate.

“Work experience,” Cappelli says, “is the crucial attribute that employers want even for students who have yet to work full-time.”

Here’s the good news to pack up and take home:

Thompson says: “When you drill down into how a college’s reputation affects hiring, employers’ mean rating of ‘regionally known’ colleges and universities was practically indistinguishable from their rating for elite schools.”

To dive a little deeper into this subject, read my article on why paid internships are the best internships: You can read that article here.

Then read my very popular article on “Expensive Education Leads to A Happier Life. True or False? (The Answer Might Surprise You.)” You can find that article here.

My suggestion to upcoming grads and college students?

Don’t believe the hype that says: “If you don’t get into a good college, you won’t be able to get a good job when you graduate.” Instead: “Plan ahead and do 2- 3 paid internships during college – it’s one of the best ways to set yourself up to get a great job when you graduate!”

Jeannie Burlowski is a full-time consultant, author, and conference speaker. She gives parents a clear, step-by-step checklist so that they can set their kids up to succeed brilliantly in college, graduate completely debt-free, and move directly into careers they excel at and love. She is the author of LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward.


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About Sharise

An accomplished author and freelance writer, Sharise earned her MS in Professional Writing from Towson University.

After visting 23 states and 4 countires she started 4fourtheroad as a family blog about roadtrips and homeschooling.


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