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Family 411: College Internships
Updated: Tuesday, November 19 2013, 04:26 PM EST
Unpaid internships may be a relic of the past soon. It couldn't be better news for college students struggling to find jobs. But in tonight's Family 411, special correspondent Sheila Gray shows us why it's not just college students who could benefit from a new trend in internships.
Andrew Hamilton, college student, "college is expensive, and not just college. Being an engineer, it's laptops, programs, so much more than college that you have to pay for."
College freshman Andrew Hamilton already thinking about how to offset those expenses and get real world work experience. So he check out this university career and internship fair.
Dave Ferguson, University Relations Manager "we view interns as a talent pipeline." Dave Ferguson's job is to line up that student talent for general electric, the company offers about 2,000 paid internships and co-ops each year.
Ferguson, "we look at these students as the next generation of leaders."
Jason Eckert, University of Dayton "students should be compensated for the work they do, and I've seen a rise in the number of employers who are compensating their interns."
The U.S. Labor Department has a 6-prong test for employers to determine whether they should be paying. The major criteria: Whether an employer gains advantage by having an intern.
Eckert, "just having more staff helps you be successful and increases productivity."
About 62 percent of internships in America are paid. While some students say that makes a company more attractive, others say it's all about the experience.
Raissa Takouda, college student, "they're giving something to you, so you should be thankful for that."
Michelle Jones, U.S. Dept. Of state, "they're unpaid internships because the students gain valuable experience."
Government and non-profits are exempt from the labor department test, but colleges and companies like GE think paying for talent helps more than just this generation of students, it helps America.
Ferguson, "I like to say the team with the best players wins."
We also spoke with Dr. Robert Shindell of Intern Bridge, who tracks paid internships. He predicts, within a few years all employers will be required to pay their interns and unpaid internships will only exist if students are willing to take them.