The Effect of Internship Participation on Perceived Importance of Career Readiness Competencies

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Davis, Huey
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Middle Tennessee State University
For college students, internships provide opportunities to learn in a professional environment. Since internships are not required for all majors, students finish college with different experiences and values. Based on data provided by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the career readiness competencies valued most by employers are problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, oral communication, written communication, and work ethic. Utilizing data from 780 undergraduate students, the author investigates whether participating in an internship affects students’ views of career readiness competencies. Using ordinary least squares regression, we found internship participation had no effect on student’s evaluation of the six competencies, but differences were found by race, age, gender, college class, and college of major. Although the results do not support the hypothesis that internships affect students’ evaluations of career readiness skills, we found students collectively rate problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, oral communication, written communication and work ethic very highly.