Point/Counterpoint | Are internships necessary for UI students?

Opinions Editor Sophia Meador and Opinions Contributor Luke Krchak debate on whether internships are necessary for UI students’ future?

September 13, 2022


Internships are essential to students.

Most students, like myself, have little idea what they want to do after college. Fortunately, internships can give students find a clearer vision for their future.

While classrooms can educate students about their field of study, sitting in a lecture is not the same as experiencing the field. Internships are an excellent way for students to gain on-the-job experience in their respective fields.

Internships give students a better understanding of their career path after college. This can be from finding what you want in a career, and what you don’t want. It can also help you make valuable networking connections with people in your field.

Additionally, internships can also land you your first job upon graduation. In 2020, just 50 percent of college graduates found traditional full-time jobs within 6-months of graduation.

But for students with internships experience, they are more likely to find full-time jobs with companies they interned for.

More than 55 percent of all interns accepted job offers from the company they interned for. Additionally, 14 percent of all interns in the U.S. are given a part-time job upon completing their internship.

While not all internships are paid, most companies do pay interns. In addition, the average pay for interns in Iowa is $15.86 per hour, which is more than double the minimum wage in Iowa, $7.25.

While internships may not always pay as much as other jobs, the experience is more enriching to your career than most other opportunities. The experiences internships offer is priceless.

Now is the ideal time to find a spring internship and get a head start to your career.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.



Internships have been a necessity for entering the job market after college, but it’s time to move past internships as the gold standard to join the job market.

Students should seek unconventional paths to get into their respective job markets.

The jobs people want post-graduation require years of industry experience, and internships don’t equate to getting a full-time job with that company or even the industry.

Few internships provide the right experience both for resumes and on-the-job learning. Some programs like the University of Iowa Museum Studies Certificate Program provides job opportunities at the university’s museums, which mimic what jobs you would see in the museum industry.

But most internships will not match the job you’re working toward. Interns are usually seen as a  supporting role for the people who have the job you want, and most students want to learn how to do their job post-graduation.

Rather than internships, students should seek actual jobs. Many departments at the UI have job opportunities that will better provide the experience necessary to prepare and land you a job.

Another problem is that many internships only apply for college credit and are unpaid. More than 39 percent are unpaid, and most are full-time.

Internships that do pay typically don’t pay enough, with the average paying $15.86 per hour in Iowa. While this is more than a job in the service industry can give you, it does equate to what full-time positions that require a college degree offer.

With costs of tuition and living rising, students are not as financially supported enough to choose lesser paying internships than their higher paying jobs in the same field.

It is time to move past internships and look for better options to suit you.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.


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