With numbers like 60% of paid internships converting into full-time offers, students facing a bleak economic landscape know that internships are their fast pass to a career in their chosen field. And as recruiters know, interns from top universities are often the best candidates for full-time positions—creating a solid internship program, then, saves considerable energy and resources when hiring for fulltime positions.
What kind of work are interns looking for? In the recruiting shuffle, it’s easy to lose sight of what the big picture is, which is why InternMatch keeps track of top internship searches within their website. Having kept a finger on the pulse of search queries from students in the past year, we’re sharing the most sought after positions of 2012—and some of them may surprise you:
Art production and gallery interns support the vital operations of creative venues, finding mentorships and sometimes brushing shoulders with icons from the art world. These benefits encourage students to apply for internships in hubs like New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.—three cities with traditions in art as well as a thriving contemporary scene. Employers should take advantage of this traffic as well as connect with students who may be in town on fellowships or residencies.
With journalism moving increasingly away from print venues towards online platforms, and even social media, internships in the field are great barometers for students to gauge their aptitude for the job. Companies seeking researchers, content writers, and editors would do well to bring on journalism students who have a strong background in all three tasks.
7. Event Planning
It’s one thing to know how to throw a great party—it’s quite another to know how to plan a fundraising dinner for thousands of people. Event planning interns have the tri-fold talent of researching venues, coordinating logistics, and assembling press kits. Experience is also the best teacher in this field, so students are vigilant about finding opportunities to support an organization’s operations.
6. Engineering/Computer Science
Qualified computer science and engineering students are hot commodities in today’s hiring world, and they know it. What’s instructive here is the realization that tech hopefuls aren’t defaulting to searches of Google or Facebook internships, but potential engineering interns are taking the time to find the best cultural fit. As candidates scramble for high-paying jobs in innovative companies, employers are putting on a recruiting hustle to match.
Design students have talent, will travel. With building a professional portfolio at the top of their priorities list, designers seek opportunities all throughout college. Employers hoping to attract high-octane design interns should consider hosting design contests or asking candidates to replace the cover letter with an artistic campaign.
4. Public Relations
Pulling together media lists, writing press releases, and responding to press all fall under the jurisdiction of a public relations intern. PR students are passionate about branding and brand awareness, making them crucial additions to the team. Eager to jump into hands-on projects, their work can help ensure your company’s or clients’ success.
Accounting internships are usually funnels for entry-level positions later on, especially at giant firms like Ernst & Young and Deloitte, who start their recruiting efforts early. The intense interview processes ensure that the selected candidates are talented, hardworking, and likely additions to the team. Accounting internships pay well and are stable, giving us insights into what students are looking for in a job opportunity.
Known for their professional savvy and ambition, business students hunt for internships to start the climb up the management ladder early. Internships in business development and management are highly sought after for graduate students as well; to attract a candidate from Harvard or Columbia, consider taking a guest speaker position or sponsoring a business plan competition on campus.
Marketing tops this list by a wide margin, getting 30% more hits than the last industry. The attraction of marketing is its versatility and blend between creativity and analytics. Marketing strategists seek positions that allow room for interns to brainstorm and execute campaigns, be it traditional or new media. An emerging subfield is social media, with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest becoming bigger players in converting users.
There you have it–the 9 most sought after fields that most entice top students who hope to transition smoothly from university to career. Take advantage of their internship search by reaching out through university departments, posting on internship job sites and sponsoring events in a local academic community. With the right allotment of resources, you’ll build a student funnel that speeds and smooths the hiring process.