Internships: An Investigation of Attainment and Outcomes

Olivia Cortellini and Zachary Kornhauser | 2014 | CAE

Given the documented discrepancy between the cognitive skills undergraduates gain in the classroom and those they need for career success, it is important to better understand how college experiences contribute to students’ cognitive skills and career preparation. The present study specifically focused on internships, aiming to describe the demographic characteristics of students who obtain internships, examine the effect of internships on career outcomes, and determine differences in cognitive proficiency between interns and their peers. Results indicate that former interns did in fact have more positive career outcomes than their peers as well as score higher on a test of cognitive skills. This study has implications for better understanding student learning and career preparedness in higher education.

Students had favorable views of their internships in helping them to develop cognitive skills as well as in preparing them for the workforce.