Internship Programs Analysis: Industries Where Internships Bring the Most New Hires [INTERACTIVE]

August 21, 2014

The summer is (sadly) coming to a close and your interns are headed back to school -- now it’s time to do some analysis. How many did you hire? How does your company’s internship program stack up to the competition? Are you making more or fewer internship hires than other businesses in your industry?

We wanted to know the answers to these questions ourselves, so we mined the data in over 300 million LinkedIn member profiles to find out. Analyzing the interactions on our network, we looked to figure out:

  • Which industries offer the most internship opportunities?
  • How often do those internships lead to a full-time jobs?

Below, you can see an interactive graph with the results of our analysis -- the x-axis represents the likelihood that an internship will lead to a full-time job at the same company, and the y-axis represents the volume of internship opportunities that are available. Hover over or tap each circle to see details. Click or tap on the categories at the top of the graph to filter the results by industry.

How does your internship programs stack up:
Internship availability and likelihood that it will lead to a full-time job

Looking at the results, it’s fascinating to see the different value industries place on internships as a source of new hires. For example, 46 out of every 1000 hires made in the international affairs industry are interns. Conversely, out of every 1000 hires made in the logistics and supply chain industry, only 12 are interns. Internship retention rates vary considerably by industry as well. 47% of members who interned in the computer networking industry took a full-time job at the same company they interned in, one year later. In venture capital? Not so much. Only 20% of interns were retained.

All in all, it's great to be in Accounting if you are looking for fresh talent -- 59% of internships result in full-time employment with the company.

Here is what this means for you:

Consider what this means for your company’s internship strategy. If you’re industry is in the top-right quadrant of our chart,your competition is likely to have a robust internship program. If you don’t have one, you may be missing out on a key source of quality hires.

If your industry is in the bottom-right quadrant of our chart, your competition likely has a selective internship process, where few interns are hired but many accept full-time job offers. In this case, how does your internship retention rate compare to the average?

Finally, the staffing and recruiting industry itself, along with HR, do not seem to be very hospitable towards interns. Only 6 out of every 1000 hies made in staffing & recruiting firms companies are internships and only 26% of those internships result in full-time jobs. Worth considering if you are missing out on a great source of fresh talent.

What value do you see coming from your internship program? Let us know at @HireOnLinkedIn.


As we continue to build the Economic Graph, a digital map of the global economy, we’ll be able to provide employers with information they need to better understand the student and recent graduate talent market. Youth unemployment is one of the most important challenges of our time, and we hope to provide meaningful solutions in the near future.

Methodological details: The results of this analysis represent the world seen through the lens of LinkedIn data. As such, it is influenced by how members choose to use the site, which can vary based on professional, social, and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility. These variances were not accounted for in the analysis.

To determine the likelihood that an internship will lead to a full-time opportunity, we isolated members that indicated in their profile that they held an internship at some point in the past, and currently hold a full-time position. Members whose current full-time position is in the same company as their past internship position were considered to be ‘retained hires.’ We then grouped the company data by their respective industries to determine the internship retention percentages for each industry.

To determine the availability of internship opportunities, we looked at the population of members who indicated they had an internship in 2013 as a fraction of all hiring activity in 2013, broken down by industry.

Only members with English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Dutch language profiles were included in the analysis.

Interactive chart by Skye Riley

Image by Deval Patrick

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