According to the 2013 ACS New Graduate Survey, the unemployment rate for chemists who have recently completed their undergraduate degrees is nearly 16%. But did you know that completing an internship as an undergraduate can significantly impact employability and earnings?
Students who were employed in an internship experience prior to completing their undergraduate degree saw notably lower unemployment and significantly higher starting salaries than those with no previous professional work experience. Recent grads with prior internship experience have an unemployment rate 10.4%. While still daunting, that number is much lower than the 15.8% unemployment rate of recent BA/BS degree holders who did not have any previous professional work experience.
Salaries are also positively impacted by prior internship experience. Recent graduates with internship experience have a median salary of $47,250 for full-time positions, while their counterparts who have not completed an internship prior to graduation reported a median salary of $35,180. By taking on an internship before finishing their undergraduate degree, recent grads could be entering the workforce earning 34% more.
That said, the type of internship is also important. According to the a recent survey of new graduates from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), internships add value to a potential employee, but only internships that were paid had a significant effect. Paid interns were twice as likely to receive at least one job offer and also earned significantly more.
Find out more about the landscape for recent grads, subscribe to hear about internship opportunities from the ACS, or research other ways you can increase your chances of getting a job with the ACS Career Navigator.