Ah, internships: a time for exploring new interests, hands-on learning, and…exploitation?
Not always. But often. Data from the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison estimates somewhere between 31% and 58% of internships in the United States don’t pay. But internships are still considered a must-have for a well-rounded résumé (multiple years of experience for an entry-level job, anyone?) and are sometimes an academic requirement. Often, they mirror broader workforce inequities, raising questions about whose labor, time, and knowledge have value. While “blame the intern” quips still pop up on social media, unpaid internships are a legitimate labor issue.
We also joined a Twitter Space on the column, and you can listen to the replay here.