For Immediate Release
Contact: Katy Francisco Riddle, 615-494-8911 or email@example.com
In Tough Economy, Internships Add Value to Students, Employers
MTSU Career Development Center sees increase in internship postings for spring
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – (March 16, 2009) – In times of a tough economy and an even tougher job market, MTSU Career Development Center Director Bill Fletcher was happy to discover a bright spot when comparing the office’s spring employer recruiting numbers to a year ago.
In pulling together the data, Fletcher was not taken aback to find the number of degreed entry-level positions posted by employers had dropped 54 percent from the previous spring. He was, however, pleased to see that the number of internship opportunities posted by employers was up 47 percent from a year ago.
“Internships are a cost-effective way for employers to maintain their company’s recruiting pipeline,” said Fletcher. “In uncertain times, employers can use interns to supplement their workload, while keeping an eye on things to come.”
Internships are also valuable from a student perspective. Because the number of full-time degreed positions is on the decline, the experience a student brings to the table, combined with a student’s ability to network, is becoming increasingly important, and according to Fletcher, internships are an indication of real-life experience and offer transferrable skills that students can take with them to a full-time position.
“The decrease in college hiring combined with the desire on the part of employers for candidates to have experience will further make obtaining an internship necessary for successful entry into the job market upon graduation,” said Fletcher. “Students who have not interned will be at a disadvantage when it comes to securing a full-time position and seniors, and perhaps juniors, may not have enough time to line up a quality internship before they graduate.”
Students often look to the Internet to search for and apply to internship postings, as well as a way to connect with potential employers through job boards and social networking sites. While the available technology has made this easier, it has also increased students’ passive approach to the job search process.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers recently conducted a survey of 2008 college graduates job searching in a tough economy. The data was compared with results of a similar survey conducted in 1982, when the U.S. was in a severe recession. The comparison found that 68 percent of the Class of 1982 utilized networking frequently as a job search strategy, and in 2008, that number dropped to 54 percent.
“Whether we’re in a good economy or a not-so-good economy, my advice has always been to rely on an active job search, rather than a passive one,” Fletcher said. “With an active approach, you’re in control of your search and choose where you go and who you go after in terms of employment. In a passive approach, you’re leaving these decisions to the employer and relying on job postings to come your way. In any kind of economic downturn, an active and networking approach to the job search is absolutely critical.”
The MTSU Career Development Center has added programming to help students lead an active job search in a tough economy. There are currently 6,872 students and alumni registered with the office in various stages of the career exploration and job search process. These students and alumni have multiple opportunities throughout March and April to learn job searching techniques through programs such as: Job Searching 1010 (basics of finding a job) and “The Seven Secrets to the Hidden Job Market” by national speaker and author Don Asher.
Employers wanting to remain competitive in the market by posting their internship positions and requesting potential candidate resumes may obtain more information at the Career Development Center’s Web site: http://career.web.mtsu.edu/employers.htm.