Internship experience should be a requirement for all students

Each semester UK students boastfully walk across the stage to become alumni, however some graduates are unprepared for their career of choice. Job fairs and emailing resumes create important connections, but there is one thing missing from the important “to-do” list of employment seeking graduates — internships.

For Journalism students in the College of Communication and Information, internships are a requirement for graduation. But, what happens to the students who are not required to have an internship such as Political Science, Biology, Engineering, Business, Linguistics, Agriculture, English, Psychology and other majors?

Degrees are essential, but internships finish the race toward finding a career. Internships prove to employers that the student has not only the knowledge, but the skills and experience to put it into practice, which is why internships should be required to graduate.

In 2008, Longwood University, who requires internships for all graduates, reported that 74 percent of their 4,800 enrolled graduating class attained jobs within six months of graduation, even during the year of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. If universities and colleges across America seek to create functional members of society from students, why would they not facilitate and encourage this exposure?

There is nothing more important than experience in one’s field of study while still in college. To have the experience before graduation is a must and students shouldn’t have to ask, “Will I be able to get a job after graduation,” especially after being in student debt for years after graduating.

In 2008, 67.7 percent of interns were offered full time positions. Decreasing the stress of finding a job for many students is reason enough to implement internship requirements.

Having experience stands out when companies are looking for employees to fill positions. However, being fresh out of college with a degree and no experience only shows that one works hard, not that the graduate has put hours into the actual field of study.

Not only do internships look good on a resume, they are also a good opportunity to test-drive a career. It would be a waste of time, opportunity and money to go through college without actually enjoying the field one has a degree in. It is important that colleges implement an internship requirement for graduation like Longwood University did. Not only do students earn college credit for having an internship, but colleges that require this from their students are setting them up to succeed. It is not enough to “see blue” if graduates can’t foresee success.

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