by Nicole Allen

Throughout students’ college career, they will hear about a common topic: internships. While these opportunities are great for work experience, half of the internships offered to college students are unpaid; however, because of all the benefits being offered to the company and interns, internships should be paid.

Companies benefit from paid internships because they enable the companies to be more selective with whom they hire, creating a competitive environment. If the companies take their time to budget money for an intern, more prospective interns will likely try to compete for that position., which allows companies to choose from a larger selection of capable candidates. Ultimately, this benefits the companies because they are getting their money’s worth with the intern they choose. In addition, if companies pays interns, they are more likely to hire them after the internship is over because they are already on the pay roll and know the their worth.

Paid internships have been proven to better increase a student’s chance of getting a job after graduation. According to a recent study by “Forbes Magazine,” a student who participated in a paid internship is twice as likely to find a job after graduation than a student who participated in an unpaid internship. This shows that paid internships are harder to acquire.  A future employer values paid internships over unpaid ones when looking to hire new employees. In addition, the study also shows that paid internships increase one’s starting salary by $15,000 compared to no internship, or $12,000 compared to an unpaid internship.

Internships should also be paid because most are given to college students. Ask college students about their financial situations;, they’re more than likely going to say they are broke and/or  in debt. If a student is hired at a location that requires a commute, travel expenses will add up quickly, and since most college students do not have thousands of dollars to spare, parents usually end up footing the bill. But what if a student is from a family that is not financially well off? Paid internships would level the playing field for high-to-middle class students and low class students.

Every college student will eventually consider an internship, and whether it’s paid or unpaid internship is an important part of a student’s college career. In the end, paid internships will be the most beneficial to student’s wallets as well as their futures.