Intern Hiring Up More Than 9% for 2022-23 Academic Year

April 3, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

A group of recruiters welcome a group of interns to the office.

TAGS: Internships, nace insights, surveys, talent acquisition,

Employers expect to increase their intern hiring by 9.1% for the 2022-23 academic year over the previous year, according to results of NACE’s 2023 Internship & Co-op Report.

The current increase outpaces intern hiring projections employers made pre-pandemic, but is below last year’s projection. Last year was a return to “normal” after two years of reduced intern hiring. (See Figure 1.)

Still, the increase this year underscores the value employers place on their internship programs and their commitment to them. In fact, in a recent NACE quick poll, four out of five employers said their internship program provided the best return on investment as a recruiting strategy, giving them the best means for identifying and building relationships with potential employees.

Further evidence of employers’ commitment to their internship programs in the 2023 Internship & Co-op Report can be seen as more than half of responding employers (52%) indicated plans to increase intern hiring this year, while more than one-third said they expect to hire about the same number of interns. Approximately 13% of respondents are cutting back on intern hiring.

Regardless of what their plans are, they are driven largely by their organization’s needs, according to nearly all respondents. More than one-quarter (28.5%) also cited the state of the market and economy as factoring into their plans; approximately 12% also cited the potential for inflation as contributing to their plans.

NACE’s 2023 Internship & Co-op Report explores key aspects of employers’ internship and co-op programs, including hiring projections, conversion, retention, compensation (wages and benefits), recruiting strategies, and program structure. This report provides projections for internship and co-op programs for the 2022-23 academic year, but the bulk of the information presented represent data gathered from 2021-22 internship and co-op programs. Historical data are also provided to indicate trends. Data were collected from November 9, 2022, to December 31, 2022. There were 221 NACE member respondents, representing 25.1% of eligible member respondents. The Internship & Co-op Survey was also distributed to nonmember companies from which an additional 68 responses were received. The 2023 Internship & Co-op Report is available to members through MyNACE.

Figure 1