College students, start your engines. If you’re hoping to work in an internship this summer, it’s time to rev up your internship research and application efforts: March is the peak month for internship recruiting and hiring for summer interns in the U.S.
While January and February see a good amount of internship planning and posting, activity ratchets up in March, slows down in April, and then really drops off by May, according to career research published by Burning Glass Technologies in their third annual review of the internship job market.
In addition to timing of recruiting, a key finding of their study is that employers expect interns to arrive with work-ready skills in their subject area, rather than offering students a training experience to gain those skills on the job. Students may need to prepare in their program of study more and earlier than expected— to qualify for internships. This goes for both college and graduate students; about 70% of internships are posted with education requirements at the level of “some college” through bachelor’s degree, while about 30% target graduate students.
The study highlighted the career categories with the highest numbers of internship postings in 2016. They note that the Business Operations category posted the highest number of opportunities, at nearly 59,000. However, they found that while this grab-bag of general skills may be all that’s required for some internships, a number of others require this set of widely-applicable skills in addition to specific subject matter expertise, such as engineering.
The top 10 categories of skill-specific internships nationwide, with their respective number of postings are:
- Marketing 35,498
- Engineering 33,116
- Sales and Business Development 28,227
- Media, Communications and Public Relations 28,140
- Data Analytics 26,438
- Finance 26,257
- IT Development 26,227
- Arts and Design 20,275
- Project and Program Management 20,186
- Human Resources 18,783
The study offers also includes details on specific skill sets wanted by employers in each type of internship, for example, within engineering, the most in-demand skills are electrical engineering, computer engineering, Auto CAD, mechanical engineering and project management. You can also find the top category of internship for every state in the U.S. in a helpful map.
Learn about internship opportunities on CareerOneStop, and more ways to develop hands on experience. Check out our website for young adults, GetMyFuture, for job search and career planning resources, that can help you “find a career that makes you happy every morning you wake up.”