Internships enable students to acquire skills, which cannot be learned in the classroom environment, while employers obtain access to low-cost labour and reduced recruitment costs. Interns develop interpersonal skills, team-working skills, professionalism and customer management experience. Students also improve their communication, confidence and self-efficacy. Those with internship experience are more likely to find jobs and earn more. In the information technology (IT) sector internships provide valuable on-the-job training that helps students to develop entrepreneurial skills and prepares them for self-employment in this sector. There is little evidence that internships can foster professional networks that facilitate knowledge transfer, although the potential for this is acknowledged.
K4D helpdesk reports provide summaries of current research, evidence and lessons learned. This report was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development
Ismail, Z. (2018) Benefits of Internships for Interns and Host Organisations. K4D Helpdesk Report, Birmingham UK: University of Birmingham.