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Only 42% of tech interns would recommend their internship to others

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Less than half of interns in the tech industry would recommend their experience to a friend, according to a June 15 report from Glassdoor.

The percentage has remained low in 2023, reaching a record low of 41% during the first quarter and hovering at 42% for the second quarter. In 2019, IT internship recommendations surpassed 70%.

“The interns are not OK, according to internship reviews on Glassdoor,” the Glassdoor Economic Research Team wrote. “Near-record low shares of interns say they would recommend their internship to a friend.”

Internship reviews have shifted somewhat in recent years, declining drastically during the first year of the pandemic and rebounding in 2021 and 2022, particularly for the tech and finance sectors. Since mid-2022, however, percentages dropped again in tech.

Interns in finance, as well management and consulting, have reported higher satisfaction levels than in tech, Glassdoor reported, but intern satisfaction remains below pre-pandemic levels across the board.

Low satisfaction could be due to several factors, the Glassdoor team wrote, including slimmer budgets with scaled-back internship experiences, fewer internship opportunities and return-to-office mandates.

Despite the low recommendation rates and potential economic concerns, tech internships still pay the highest rates, according to a recent report. Among the top 20 firms, many tech companies paid at least $7,000 per month — and sometimes more than $9,000 — on average.

For recent college graduates, though, the outlook could feel more unstable. With layoffs and hiring freezes, HR leaders may look to broader skills, such as critical thinking, collaboration and communication, to build teams and prepare for the future workforce. Upskilling and alternative credentialing have become more widespread as well, especially in the IT sector.

These adjustments in internships and job offers could signal an ongoing change in tech industry benefits, which could become more permanent over time, sources told HR Dive. In place of lavish packages, companies may need to offer other options, such as unlimited paid time off, to stave off attrition.

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