Internships on Rise, but Rules Are Murky ; Firms Demand Students Receive Course Credit, but Not All Schools Will Give It

By Carey, Kevin | International Herald Tribune, February 4, 2013 | Go to article overview

Internships on Rise, but Rules Are Murky ; Firms Demand Students Receive Course Credit, but Not All Schools Will Give It


Carey, Kevin, International Herald Tribune


Employers, students and colleges have all been caught in the complex web of credentialing, job training and financial self- interest that increasingly characterizes U.S. higher education.

Job listings on Craigslist in the United States are full of companies looking for young people willing to work for no salary. In New York, internships are available at businesses including advertising agencies and a "cake studio." They want people who are "positive" and "energetic." And one more thing: They want college students. As one agency looking for an unpaid videographer put it, "PLEASE NOTE: You must be in school and receive school credit in order to join us."

Why would companies care about college or university credit? Because employers, students and colleges have all been caught in the complex web of credentialing, job training and financial self- interest that increasingly characterizes U.S. higher education.

Interning has become the norm in the United States: A survey of the class of 2012 by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that a majority had graduated with an internship or cooperative education experience. (Co-ops are traditionally tightly integrated into academic programs, run full time and can add a year to attaining a bachelor's degree; internships tend to be relatively short, one-off stints.)

The rise of college internships reflects tectonic shifts in the structure of the U.S. economy. Even as globalization helped eliminate large numbers of well-paying blue-collar jobs, new industries evolved but with jobs requiring a college degree. In 1971, U.S. colleges and universities granted about 155,000 bachelor's degrees in the social sciences and history, compared with about 115,000 in business. By 2011, the number of social science and history degrees had increased to only about 177,000, though the total number of graduates had more than doubled. Degrees in business, by contrast, swelled to more than 365,000, making it by far the most popular undergraduate major.

This presents a challenge for colleges and universities. The best way to learn history involves reading books and attending history classes led by historians. The best way to learn business often involves working in a business. But while tuition is paid in exchange for credit for history classes, that is not the case with jobs in businesses. Thus, the academic internship, in which colleges get tuition to not teach students and businesses pay little or nothing for students' work. Tuition for for-credit internships is free money. Instead of receiving no wages, students are, in effect, receiving a negative wage. They are paying for the privilege of working.

(At the New America Foundation, where I work, it is up to interns whether to seek credit; most are unpaid. At The New York Times Co., interns must be compensated or receive credit; some academic interns also receive a stipend.)

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor became so concerned about exploitation of interns that it clarified the rules for using them without compensation.

"The more an internship program is structured around a classroom or academic experience," the department said, "the more likely the internship will be viewed as an extension of the individual's educational experience (this often occurs where a college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit)." There were other criteria as well: Unpaid internships are illegal if the student is doing work that has "immediate advantage" for the business.

Companies seem to have seized on the educational credit provision as a way of minimizing their legal liability. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Internships on Rise, but Rules Are Murky ; Firms Demand Students Receive Course Credit, but Not All Schools Will Give It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.