Panic over the undetermined future of the millenial class continues as the New York Times reports on the overwhelming number of the post-graduate set who are still toiling at unpaid internships. Taking on two, sometimes three internships with no pay, many fear that interning has become its own career path, instead of a bridge to solid employment. As Alex Williams reports:
The moribund economy is, without question, a primary factor behind the shift. Even though the employment picture has brightened since the depths of the Great Recession, few would describe it as sunny. The general unemployment rate inched down to 6.6 percent last month, but the jobless rate for college graduates age 20 to 24 stood at 8 percent in 2013, compared with 5.1 percent in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Though a number of millenials have turned to independent projects to carve out jobs for themselves, such as Intern Magazine's Alec Dudson, others describe the culture as survival of the fittest or least soul-emptied.
"I have seen a lot of people beside me quit," [Dawn] Joyce added. "It's sort of like, 'Let's see who lasts the longest.' "
The Times reports that many companies have since changed their internship policies, especially after a rash of interns began fighting back with lawsuits. Does the callout to Condé Nast's decision to abolish the internship program at its 25 magazines qualify as shade? The paper has gotten in trouble before for reporting on unpaid internships while having one of their own (though the primary summer internship has a $960/week stipend).
In a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in 2012, it was found that 64% of paid interns ended up with a paid position within their companies, while only 38.3% of unpaid interns were offered a position. There is no telling if taking on several unpaid internships at once increases the potential for employment or not, but the outlook seems grim.