Each of us is being told about the numerous benefits of internships. They can provide you with networking opportunities, deliver valuable experiences, boost your resume, lead to full-time employment, and even help you earn some cash.
Based on the benefits, such jobs have always been considered a must-do for every student. Young people get endlessly encouraged to do whatever it takes to land an internship.
They have to give up on their studies or search for someone to ask, “please, write my research papers” to have more time to find a suitable opportunity. Then, they have to deal with numerous recruitment issues and work for wear and tear just to get noticed. But is it really worth the effort?
Indeed, in a world of high competition and a tough economy, an internship might be your best chance to jump-start a career while still in college. However, it’s not always the case. In 2022, we’ve come to the realization that not all students must worry about internships, and here’s why.
It Often Turns Into Menial Work
Many believe that an internship is a full-scale job where you will be able to gain new skills and uncover your true professional potential. Indeed, there are cases like this. But it’s crucial to understand that it’s a possibility rather than a rule.
In reality, such jobs often offer less experience and benefits than promised. And this feels like a major disappointment.
Employers often abuse the essence of such opportunities and use them to get rid of unwanted menial tasks. As a result, a student who gets into it has no other choice than do minor unskilled work and get no benefits in return.
But what about the vital skills that you get? This is one of the cruelest myths about internships. Unfortunately, even companies that promise to deliver useful, career-oriented training and skills to students don’t always keep this promise.
Often, you will have to deal with very basic and not challenging tasks that will have no impact on your skill set or future employability.
It Makes You Work For Free
According to College Raptor and plenty of other sources, one of the most significant drawbacks of internships is the fact that they are almost often either unpaid or underpaid.
This applies to opportunities across all industries and verticals. From software engineering to nursing – when you become a trainee in your field, be ready to work hard for free.
Of course, this is not always the case. Some opportunities might be quite well-compensated. However, their amount is tiny, and the competition is way too high. So, in most cases, you will either end up with no paycheck or with a rather disappointing one.
Can it get even worse? It actually can. Not only do internships make you work for free, but they may also even cost money. The truth is that going for a full-time unpaid internship can be very hard unless your pockets are deep.
After all, you will still need to pay for transportation, housing, food, and many other things; you just won’t make money to cover these expenses. So, before you go for such opportunities, carefully consider whether you even can afford to do it.
It’s Always Linked With Tough Competition
Now, although such jobs are often unpaid or underpaid, they are still rather competitive. Being told that it is a must-do, students often compete vigorously for such opportunities. Thus, there are almost always far more applications than there are offers.
This means that you will have to compete for the chosen opportunity. It will be fierce and stressful. Moreover, surveys show that it can be even tougher than the competition for full-scale positions (even entry-level or mediocre ones).
So it’s not quite clear whether it’s actually worth your time and nerves. However, we have to admit that getting into a tough competition like that will at least help you learn how to sell yourself.
It Comes With High Expectations
Knowing that you will likely not be paid much for doing such jobs, you could think like the expectations will be lower too. Wrong guess.
Regardless of the position or field, an internship will always require you to do 110% of what you can do. Your employers, co-workers, and customers will all be expecting you to perform at the top of your abilities, to the standards set in a particular company.
At the same time, you will know for sure that you are a trainee when you will get a tiny paycheck or interact with management. This, for sure, can make you feel slightly disgruntled.
Your Rights And Well-Being Won’t Matter
The last reason you shouldn’t be so focused on landing an internship is the toughest one. This is something people don’t talk about as much. But the issue is real.
According to experts, even in 2022, there is still a significant lack of regulation around such jobs. Simply put, employers have very little liability and incentive to provide you with comfortable and safe working conditions while you are a trainee.
They also have very little legal liability for whatever can go wrong during your stay in their companies. You might be treated as a cheap workforce, have your rights violated, and face a variety of other issues, yet have no legal means to address this.
A terrible yet clear example of this is the case of Lihuan Wang. Being an unpaid trainee, Wang filed a sexual harassment suit against the company she worked with. During the trial process, it turned out that she couldn’t even bring a claim under the New York City Human Rights Law because she was not an actual paid employee.
The Bottom Line
Now you know that there are some real and big disadvantages of internships. Of course, some benefits might still be there. But should you actually worry if you don’t get one? Not at all!
Given all the cons, it’s crucial to think twice before going for an internship. Often, it might not be worth the struggle.