At least 60% of each graduating class (between 2013-19) has participated in an internship and/or co-op. Of those students, 56% landed a full-time job from their internship. For the class of 2020, the conversion rate for interns increased to 66.4%. Moreover, 94% of apprentices who complete an apprenticeship retain employment and earn an average salary of $70,000/year. It’s clear that talent development programs are crucial to economic opportunity. However, who has access to these preliminary job experiences?
Early talent development programs have traditionally been held in-person. But a brick-and-mortar training program is only truly open to people within a commutable distance, or with the financial means to relocate. Technology is expanding the capacity of talent development programs, allowing the work to be done online, and in turn is widening the geographical boundaries for who can participate.
Lack of compensation, high costs of education, and in-person training expenses are financial barriers that impede some highly qualified people from accessing critical career development opportunities. Unfortunately, 60% of internships are unpaid, disproportionately affecting African-, Hispanic-, and multi-racial Americans. Unpaid interns typically undergo a longer job-search process than paid interns. One of the reasons is because paid internships lead to full-time offers about 72% of the time compared to only 44% of unpaid internships.