Unpaid Internships: Pricy or Priceless?

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Every college student is concerned about his or her academic future, especially nowadays in times of the economic crisis. College students are desperate for experience that might distinguish them later from other job applicants and improve their chances of getting their desired jobs. Internships provide valuable experience necessary for jobs and are an important part of the academic career. However, when it comes to internships, the issue of unpaid internships may be raised with opinions differing on the question of the benefits of such unpaid internships. Many people believe that since a salary does not cover the emerging costs, like living expenses and transportation, unpaid internships turn into a pricy experience that lay an even heavier financial burden on students. Therefore, they regard unpaid internships as detrimental for students. While it is true that unpaid internships can be a costly experience, it does not make them a less beneficial experience. Internships contribute to career development and it has been shown that they provide more opportunities in the job market. In addition to the enrichment of the resume, internships are valuable experiences that enhance the personal development of students. Since internships are a part of education, the costs have to be seen as an investment in the future - as every education is. While everybody may agree to some extent that internships provide valuable experience, the common objection is that unpaid internships are a heavy financial burden on college students. Internships at nonprofit business, government and media are largely unpaid. It’s a fact that students have to pay for food, transportation, and sometimes even housing if they have an internship in a different city. ... ... middle of paper ... ...nternships put a squeeze on students' wallets.” University Wire (3 April 2008): n. pag. LexisNexis. Web. 3 Dec. 2010 Oblinger, Diana G., and Anne-Lee Verville. What Business wants from Higher Education. Phoenix: The Oryx Press, 1998. Print. Peter, Tom A. “Unpaid interns struggle to make ends meet.” Christian Science Monitor (5 March 2007): 13. LexisNexis. Web. 3 Dec, 2010 Steinberg, Stephanie. “All work, no pay for some; Unpaid internships put students hungry for experience in a quandary”. USA Today (27 July 2010): 10B. LexisNexis. Web. 5 Dec 2010 United States. Dept. of Labor. “Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act.“ United States Dept. of Labor, April 2010. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. “Working for free; in depressed economy, unpaid college internships are on the rise.” Capital Times (5 May 2010): 12. LexisNexis. Web. 4 Dec 2010.

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