While scoring a first internship has become a valuable benchmark moment for college students, for some, financial concerns have kept opportunities out of reach. Fortunately, however, the financial limitations that burden some applicants’ access to these coveted positions seem to be lifting. The effects of this development are heartening, and the community ought to understand the importance of increasing routes to upward mobility.

A recent Society for Human Resource Management survey showed that internships, particularly those that offer compensation, are on the rise, with 75 percent of organizations now paying their interns. This trend signifies economic buoyancy and should encourage people to apply who might not have in the past because of limited financial resources.

Around 80 percent of organizations offering internships use them to field at least one position for full-time employment, according to the SHRM survey. Restricting opportunities to only those who have the resources to support themselves without an income should prompt serious questions about the ethics of the current internship economy. While time-intensive internships offer the possibility of genuine growth, personal development and enriched career prospects, it would be regrettable that those who can support themselves without paid work receive an advantage in the ability to secure these crucial opportunities. It is therefore especially notable that continued prospects for economic growth are spurring an increase in paid openings.

This issue hits home at Georgetown, as the ambitious atmosphere of the Hilltop provides a large emphasis on extracurricular employment. An increase in paid internships results in additional opportunities of motivated scholars to expand their skill sets, with the additional effect of improving job prospects. The level of paid internships in the economy serves as a valuable barometer of the reliability of the job market for students. As such, this rise should comfort members of the Georgetown community deterred by experiences of the recession. If this trend continues, a paid internship in an optimistic marketplace will be the fate for more and more qualified applicants.

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