Employer Services – Internships Overview
Internship programs are highly beneficial for both employers and students. They are one of the most effective and rewarding ways for employers to engage with our talented students who are highly sought-after in the job market. Well-structured internships support early career development and provide inroads to permanent employment. The Career Center is here to support you at every stage, from developing an internship program to recruiting for it.
This section contains key information and resources to assist with your internship recruitment needs. If you have additional questions, please contact Employer Relations at 510-642-0464 or by email.
- NACE’s 15 Best Practices for Internship Programs
- Starting an Internship Program
- On-Campus Recruiting (OCR)
- Listing an Internship
- Lessons Learned [During the Pandemic] Help Develop Internship Programs Moving Forward
- The Most Used, Most Effective Methods for Recruiting Interns, Co-Ops
- Average Hourly Wages for Interns and Co-ops
- DOL Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
- NACE Position on US Internships
What is an internship?
Internships are a form of experiential learning where students are on assignment with an organization for a limited period of time to gain real-world work experience that is either directly related to their major field of study or to their career interest. They differ from regular employment in that they are structured learning opportunities designed to benefit the student.
What are the benefits of having an intern?
Employers accrue many, great benefits from hiring interns! Some of the top reasons to operate an internship program include the ability to:
- Build your talent pipeline to support recruiting goals
- Train talent & future leaders for your industry
- Get high quality work completed by our highly capable students
- Leverage it as a professional development opportunity for current staff
- Build brand awareness & relationships on campus
Do interns get paid?
As with full-time salaries, intern wages vary based upon things such as experience, academic major, position, and geographical location. We recommend for intern salaries that you pay 75% of the full-time rate for business and 75-100% of the full-time rate for technical positions. Students working on campus typically earn $16.99+/hr, depending on the position.
According to results of NACE’s 2020-21 Internship & Co-op Survey, the average hourly wage rate for interns at the bachelor’s degree level begins at $20.82. Note that California intern wages may be slightly higher than national averages. You should also be aware of minimum wage laws at the state and city levels.
Is academic credit available?
It is possible for students to receive academic credit for their internship, but not in all cases. Only academic departments can offer credit, and policies differ greatly from one department to the next. If you are willing to help a student obtain academic credit, work with them to make arrangements through their academic department or through the Career Center’s U.S. Independent Summer Internship Credit Option program.
When are students available to intern?
Students are available to work throughout the entire year. During the academic year students usually work part-time (generally less than 20 hours per week). Most students opt to intern in the summer on either a part-time or full-time basis.
How do you identify the best candidate?
Look beyond a student’s major or class level. Consider how a student’s overall profile and experience match the qualities, skills and other requirements of the position. Much of this information can be found in the student profiles on Handshake. For the most efficient and effective way to connect with students, we encourage employers to attend career & internship fairs, and other events that we offer throughout the year.
How do I recruit an intern from Cal?
In addition to attending fairs and other events offered through the Career Center, employers should post their opportunities in Handshake, our premiere platform for communicating with students about their careers.