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Internships On The Rise For Unemployed College Grads

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 17, 2012

Stephanie Black just received her degree in psychology from Sacramento State this past weekend. And now she's ready to enter the workforce.

"I was a little nervous but now I'm really excited to move on."

She doesn't have a psychology job lined up yet. Her dream is to work in neuropsychology, researching Alzheimer's disease.
"Now I'm looking to research experience or internship experience while I'm looking for a job too."
And that's been a growing option for new grads - internships. Beth Merritt-Miller heads Academic Advising at Sacramento State's Career Center. 
"We have a lot more interest from employers to hire interns than we did a few years ago."
Merritt-Miller says when she began working at the Career Center six years ago companies were still hiring new grads for full-time employment. That was before the recession.
"Then when the turn hit in about 2008 or so, employers just started cutting back on everything. And now, employers are being much more prudent in their recruiting cycles."
That's one reason employment among people 16 to 24 years old in the U.S. is at the lowest level since the 1950s. Recent federal numbers show the youth unemployment rate at 17%.
"They don't have the same level of experience; they're not as attuned to the workforce as the older population."
Edwin Koc is with a group that tracks the employment of college students - the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
He says among employers who are hiring young people - paid interns appear to have an advantage over the unpaid.
"In our student survey, 60% of those who had applied for a job had at least one job offer. By comparison, unpaid internships - only 40% had a job offer."
Paid or unpaid - Beth Merritt-Miller at Sacramento State's Career Center says internships are valuable.
"It's not just filing - I think a lot of students think that in an internship they're not going to really learn anything. They're going to learn a lot on that job."
New grads looking for work can get career counseling and resume help at the Career Center for six-months after they graduate.  


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