Competencies Employers Seek in Internship/Co-Op Hires

July 19, 2017 | By NACE Staff

Internships
two men sitting across from eachother conversing

TAGS: co ops, competencies, Internships, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

When it comes to selecting students for their internship and co-op programs, employers have a set of five competencies that are “must haves,” according to NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey.

In the three years since this survey first asked about the competencies that are most important to employers when selecting students for their internship and co-op programs, five competencies have stood out as crucial for intern and co-op hires to possess. (See Figure 1 and Figure 2.) These include:

  • Information processing;
  • Teamwork;
  • Planning/prioritizing;
  • Decision making/problem solving; and
  • Verbal communication.

In fact, at least 95 percent of employers responding to this question see information processing and teamwork as critical components of an internship or co-op recruit’s appeal.

NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey was conducted from November 21, 2016, to February 17, 2017, from NACE employer members; there were 276 respondents, representing 26.4 percent of all eligible respondents. The 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey report is available to participants through MyNACE. An executive summary of the 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey is available on NACEWeb.

Figure 1: Preferred competencies for intern hires

Competency
% of respondents
Information processing
201595.6%
201694.4%
201798.7%
Teamwork
201596.9%
201694.9%
201794.9%
Planning/prioritizing
201592.6%
201693.5%
201789.7%
Decision making/problem solving
201590.4%
201684.6%
201789.7%
Verbal communication
201590.6%
201690.7%
201788.5%
Data analysis
201575.4%
201671.0%
201776.9%
Computer skills
201566.2%
201663.2%
201761.5%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge
201558.3%
201658.4%
201751.3%
Written communication
201545.0%
201637.1%
201730.8%
Selling/influencing
201524.9%
201617.8%
201728.2%
Competency 2015 2016 2017
% of respondents
Information processing 95.6% 94.4% 98.7%
Teamwork 96.9% 94.9% 94.9%
Planning/prioritizing 92.6% 93.5% 89.7%
Decision making/problem solving 90.4% 84.6% 89.7%
Verbal communication 90.6% 90.7% 88.5%
Data analysis 75.4% 71.0% 76.9%
Computer skills 66.2% 63.2% 61.5%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge 58.3% 58.4% 51.3%
Written communication 45.0% 37.1% 30.8%
Selling/influencing 24.9% 17.8% 28.2%
Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
In this analysis, a criterion was defined as “important” if a respondent who used that criterion considered it either “very important” (4) or “extremely important” (5) on a 5-point scale.


Figure 2: Preferred competencies for co-op hires

Competency
% of respondents
Information processing
201594.3%
201695.9%
2017100.0%
Teamwork
201596.7%
201695.9%
201794.9%
Planning/prioritizing
201593.4%
201689.7%
201791.0%
Decision making/problem solving
201587.6%
201685.4%
201789.7%
Verbal communication
201589.3%
201690.7%
201785.9%
Data analysis
201580.3%
201678.6%
201782.1%
Computer skills
201572.7%
201669.8%
201764.1%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge
201569.2%
201666.7%
201757.7%
Written communication
201551.7%
201639.2%
201732.1%
Selling/influencing
201531.7%
201610.3%
201723.1%
Competency 2015 2016 2017
% of respondents
Information processing 94.3% 95.9% 100.0%
Teamwork 96.7% 95.9% 94.9%
Planning/prioritizing 93.4% 89.7% 91.0%
Decision making/problem solving 87.6% 85.4% 89.7%
Verbal communication 89.3% 90.7% 85.9%
Data analysis 80.3% 78.6% 82.1%
Computer skills 72.7% 69.8% 64.1%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge 69.2% 66.7% 57.7%
Written communication 51.7% 39.2% 32.1%
Selling/influencing 31.7% 10.3% 23.1%
Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
In this analysis, a criterion was defined as “important” if a respondent who used that criterion considered it either “very important” (4) or “extremely important” (5) on a 5-point scale.

Competencies Employers Seek in Internship/Co-Op Hires

July 19, 2017 | By NACE Staff

Internships
two men sitting across from eachother conversing

TAGS: co ops, competencies, Internships, nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Spotlight for Career Services Professionals

When it comes to selecting students for their internship and co-op programs, employers have a set of five competencies that are “must haves,” according to NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey.

In the three years since this survey first asked about the competencies that are most important to employers when selecting students for their internship and co-op programs, five competencies have stood out as crucial for intern and co-op hires to possess. (See Figure 1 and Figure 2.) These include:

  • Information processing;
  • Teamwork;
  • Planning/prioritizing;
  • Decision making/problem solving; and
  • Verbal communication.

In fact, at least 95 percent of employers responding to this question see information processing and teamwork as critical components of an internship or co-op recruit’s appeal.

NACE’s 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey was conducted from November 21, 2016, to February 17, 2017, from NACE employer members; there were 276 respondents, representing 26.4 percent of all eligible respondents. The 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey report is available to participants through MyNACE. An executive summary of the 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey is available on NACEWeb.

Figure 1: Preferred competencies for intern hires

Competency
% of respondents
Information processing
201595.6%
201694.4%
201798.7%
Teamwork
201596.9%
201694.9%
201794.9%
Planning/prioritizing
201592.6%
201693.5%
201789.7%
Decision making/problem solving
201590.4%
201684.6%
201789.7%
Verbal communication
201590.6%
201690.7%
201788.5%
Data analysis
201575.4%
201671.0%
201776.9%
Computer skills
201566.2%
201663.2%
201761.5%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge
201558.3%
201658.4%
201751.3%
Written communication
201545.0%
201637.1%
201730.8%
Selling/influencing
201524.9%
201617.8%
201728.2%
Competency 2015 2016 2017
% of respondents
Information processing 95.6% 94.4% 98.7%
Teamwork 96.9% 94.9% 94.9%
Planning/prioritizing 92.6% 93.5% 89.7%
Decision making/problem solving 90.4% 84.6% 89.7%
Verbal communication 90.6% 90.7% 88.5%
Data analysis 75.4% 71.0% 76.9%
Computer skills 66.2% 63.2% 61.5%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge 58.3% 58.4% 51.3%
Written communication 45.0% 37.1% 30.8%
Selling/influencing 24.9% 17.8% 28.2%
Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
In this analysis, a criterion was defined as “important” if a respondent who used that criterion considered it either “very important” (4) or “extremely important” (5) on a 5-point scale.


Figure 2: Preferred competencies for co-op hires

Competency
% of respondents
Information processing
201594.3%
201695.9%
2017100.0%
Teamwork
201596.7%
201695.9%
201794.9%
Planning/prioritizing
201593.4%
201689.7%
201791.0%
Decision making/problem solving
201587.6%
201685.4%
201789.7%
Verbal communication
201589.3%
201690.7%
201785.9%
Data analysis
201580.3%
201678.6%
201782.1%
Computer skills
201572.7%
201669.8%
201764.1%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge
201569.2%
201666.7%
201757.7%
Written communication
201551.7%
201639.2%
201732.1%
Selling/influencing
201531.7%
201610.3%
201723.1%
Competency 2015 2016 2017
% of respondents
Information processing 94.3% 95.9% 100.0%
Teamwork 96.7% 95.9% 94.9%
Planning/prioritizing 93.4% 89.7% 91.0%
Decision making/problem solving 87.6% 85.4% 89.7%
Verbal communication 89.3% 90.7% 85.9%
Data analysis 80.3% 78.6% 82.1%
Computer skills 72.7% 69.8% 64.1%
Job-specific technical skills/knowledge 69.2% 66.7% 57.7%
Written communication 51.7% 39.2% 32.1%
Selling/influencing 31.7% 10.3% 23.1%
Source: 2017 Internship & Co-op Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
In this analysis, a criterion was defined as “important” if a respondent who used that criterion considered it either “very important” (4) or “extremely important” (5) on a 5-point scale.

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