College internships present numerous benefits. For one, they give students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in their courses within a real-world job setting. In addition, students can gain practical experience that they can add to their resume, as well as valuable insights and advice from their supervisors. Some interns receive another key benefit: a job offer upon graduation.

All this being said: Do college students believe that the opportunity for internships contributes to their satisfaction with the college experience?

Recently, Cengage Learning partnered with the Work Institute to conduct the “Today’s Student” survey. We surveyed and interviewed five thousand students—traditional and non-traditional, from four-year and two-year colleges—for their impressions of success, career prospects, technology, courses, and obstacles to achieving academic goals. Among the many topics discussed, we asked students for their opinions about internships and the college experience.

Not surprisingly, internships play an important role for career-focused students. For many, college internships give a preview of the workplace. The skills students develop are attractive to potential employers and help build a better resume. In addition, students participating in a variety of internships can identify a better fit for a post-college job. Notably, 56% of the respondents who completed an internship gave the experience an “A,” in terms of the extent to which it prepared them for an eventual job. Of those students, more than 67% assigned an “A” grade to their confidence in getting a job.

» Want to learn more about students’ thoughts on the college experience as it relates to their expectations? Download the white paper: “Students to Colleges: Get Us Work-Ready!”


Tips for a successful internship

Know students who are embarking, or about to embark, on an internship? Does your department or program require students to complete an internship? Want them to make the most of the experience? Review these posts from the Engaging Minds blog, which offer tips that can help students in the professional environment.

Tips for Students: How to Begin Searching for the Perfect Internship

Valuing the College Student Internship Experience

Tips for Students: How to Make the Most of an Internship


Does your department or program recommend or require college internships? What success tips do you share with your own students? Tell us in the comments!