It can be scary to think ahead to the future, and trying to land your first job straight out of college. However, recent research suggests a formula that is really not all that complicated: Earn excellent grades, and take advantage of internship opportunities.
Researchers at Mount Holyoke College have tracked the career outcomes of over 1,800 students who graduated from the school between 2013 and 2015. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that a high GPA (above 3.75) is strongly correlated with success in the job market.
Additionally, the study found that students who spent two summers working in internships were significantly more likely to find gainful employment within six months of graduation, when compared with students who interned for one summer only. These students were twice as likely to be employed when compared with students who had no internship experiences. Those who had three or more internships on their resumes were even more successful.
About 61 percent of students nationwide take advantage of internship opportunities. But more is better, from a prospective employers’ viewpoints, because a variety of experiences can deepen a young worker’s skill set. These experiences also help them to rule out career paths that aren’t a good fit for them.
The study, published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, did not delve into issues related to major choice and career interests.
Many colleges are now making internships and other cooperative education programs a graduation requirement. For example, Endicott College in Massachusetts requires all students to complete at least three internship experiences. More than 90 percent of their students land a job in their field of choice after graduation.
Students, remember to seek internship opportunities wherever available. Parents, know that encouraging these experiences can mean the difference between a satisfying career or a long wait at the employment office!