The New York Times > Washington > Crucial Unpaid Internships Increasingly Separate the Haves From the Have-Nots
I can not stress enough the importance of internships. They are critical in getting a permanent job. Internships provide valuable experience that serve both as a learning experience and a test job. I definite;y recommend that any student get one (or more) before they graduate. That said, non paying internships do make for difficult decisions: take a job that pays or an internship that will pay off in the future.
The NY Times reports on internships by correctly stating that internships continue to increase in importance: "The focus on internships as a tool for professional success has never been greater, according to Mark Oldman, co-author of "The Internship Bible" and co-founder of Vault Inc., a career counseling company. About 80 percent of graduating college seniors now have done a paid or unpaid internship, according to surveys by Vault, compared with about 60 percent a decade ago. "
"The interest in internships is at a fever pitch," Mr. Oldman said. "It used to be that internships used to be a useful enhancement to one's résumé. Now it's universally perceived as an essential stepping stone to career success"
However, the article points out that non-paying internships are particularly difficult for those from lower economic classes who need a paying job. "As internships rise in importance as critical milestones along the path to success, questions are emerging about whether they are creating a class system that discriminates against students from less affluent families who have to turn down unpaid internships to earn money for college expenses"