Employer Survey: Summer 2021 Internship Outlook

As more people get vaccinated and we start to see light at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indiana INTERNnet (IIN) surveyed employers to understand their plans for hosting interns this summer. IIN last surveyed employers in November 2020. You may view those results here. IIN distributed the survey to all registered employers on its web site;127 employers responded.

Of those surveyed, 65% (83 employers) indicated that they typically hired summer interns prior to the COVID-19 pandemic (summer 2019), and 56% (50 employers) said they hired summer interns during the COVID-19 pandemic (summer 2020).

With their current knowledge of events surrounding COVID-19, 93% (54 employers) of those who hired summer interns in 2020 plan on hiring interns again this summer. Of that 93% that still plan on hiring, 34 employers (63%) said they still plan on hiring interns without changes to plans. Twenty employers (37%) said they plan on hiring summer 2021 interns, but with changes to plans.

Those changes are (employers were able to select any/all changes):

  • Changing in-house internships to hybrid (part in-person and part virtual) – 13 employers
  • Hiring fewer interns – 9 employers
  • Changing in-house internships to virtually hosted – 7 employers
  • Changing internship start/end date – 3 employers
  • Bringing back previous summer interns – 3 employers
  • Keeping spring interns through the summer – 2 employers
  • Lowering intern hours per week – 1 employer

There were 69 employers that did not hire interns during summer 2020. When asked if they plan on hiring interns during summer 2021, only nine employers (13%) said “No.” Sixty-six percent (45 employers) plan on hiring interns this summer.

Survey respondents overwhelmingly hired college students with 79 employers doing so in 2019 and 52 in 2020. High school students were the second most common student type hired with 21 employers saying they hired them in 2019 and 12 employers in 2020.

While virtual and hybrid internships saw an increase in popularity during COVID-19, most employers are not on board with continuing to offer them. Fifty-four percent (69 employers) said they will not offer virtual internships after the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 25% (32 employers) said they would either likely offer or definitely offer a hybrid internship.

When it came to recruiting interns, 42% of employers expressed they were either likely to attend or will definitely attend virtual events in fall 2021. Employers were mostly hesitant about face-to-face events during the fall with 28% saying they are not likely to attend at all. Hybrid recruiting events saw a lukewarm response with only 12% saying they would definitely attend. However, all three types of recruitment events saw the most responses in the “may consider” option.

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

  • Nonprofit – other – 21%
  • Manufacturing – 20%
  • Construction and financial services – other – tied with 7%

Forty-one counties were represented in the survey results. The most common Indiana counties represented were:

  • Marion – 28%
  • Allen – 10%
  • St. Joseph – 7%
  • Hamilton and Lake – tied with 6%

Indiana INTERNnet is here to support your company’s internship needs or assist you in your internship search. If you would like to be contacted by someone on the Indiana INTERNnet team, please reach out.

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