Survey Results: The Impact of COVID-19 on Summer 2020 Internships

With the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Indiana INTERNnet wanted to get a clear idea of Indiana employers’ initial reactions to hosting summer 2020 interns. Who received the survey? All employers registered on In addition, it was shared to employer networks by Indiana colleges/universities and economic development organizations. A total of 224 responses were received.

Of those surveyed, 93% (208 employers) indicated that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were planning on hiring interns for summer 2020.

The majority of respondents 66% (138 employers) said they were planning on hiring between one to three interns before the pandemic.

With their current knowledge of events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, 72% (161 employers) said they still plan on hiring interns. Of that 72%, 74 employers said they still plan on hiring interns with no changes to plans. Eighty-seven employers said they plan on hiring summer 2020 interns, but with changes to plans.

Those changes are:

  • Changing internship start/end date – 28%
  • Hiring fewer interns – 25%
  • Changing in-house internships to virtually hosted – 14%
  • Lowering intern hours per week – 14%
  • Lowering intern hourly wage – 3%
  • Other – 17%

Anecdotally, many of those who selected “other” indicated that they know changes will need to be made to their internship program, but they are not yet sure what the changes will be.

Indiana INTERNnet received responses from employers in a variety of industries. The most common represented were:

  • Non-profit – other – 17%
  • Government – 8%
  • Education – 8%
  • Manufacturing – 7%
  • Non-profit – health and human services – 6%

The most common Indiana counties represented were:

  • Marion – 33%
  • Allen – 15%
  • St. Joseph – 8%
  • Hamilton – 6%
  • Elkhart – 3%

Forty-two percent of responses (94 employers) came from employers with between 1 and 24 employees. Twenty-three percent of responses (52 employers) came from employers with 250-plus employees.

Since this is an extremely fluid situation, Indiana INTERNnet will send this survey again to gauge any changes in employer attitudes.

4 Responses to Survey Results: The Impact of COVID-19 on Summer 2020 Internships

  1. Do Vung says:

    It is very great to know that more internship opportunities are coming out for this summer as I am looking for those by various websites. Please send me more information about it. Thanks.

  2. Kathy Weinzapfel says:

    Do you have a breakdown of industries that responded? Are some industries less affected than others?

    • Allison Kuehr says:

      At the bottom of the executive summary, we listed the top 5 industries who responded (non-profit – other, government, education, manufacturing and non-profit – health and human services).

      I can tell you that of the 49 employers who originally planned on hiring interns prior to COVID-19, but now no longer plan on hiring interns due to the pandemic, 18% (9 employers) were from manufacturing. 14% (7 employers) were from non-profit – other and 12% (6 employers) were from advertising/PR/Marketing.

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