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Over the spring and summer, Indiana INTERNnet  surveyed employers to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their summer 2020 internships. You may view March’s executive summary here, April’s here and July’s hereAs we end 2020, Indiana INTERNnet wanted to better understand employers’ plans to host interns in 2021. 

Indiana INTERNnet distributed the survey to all registered employers on its web site. Also, Indiana colleges/universities and economic development organizations shared it with their employer networks. A total of 154 responses were received from November 4 to November 18. 

Of those surveyed, 56% (86 employers) indicated that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they typically hired spring interns. Nine percent (14 employers) indicated that they were unsure if their company typically hired interns.  

With their current knowledge of events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, 64% (64 employers) of the 100 employers who either typically hire spring interns or were unsure, said they still plan on hiring spring interns. Of that 64% who still plan on hiring, 34 employers said they still plan on hiring interns without changes to plans. Thirty employers said they plan on hiring spring 2021 interns, but with changes to plans. 

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

  • Changing in-house internships to virtually hosted – 19 employers 
  • Hiring fewer interns – 9 employers 
  • Changing internship start/end date – 7 employers 
  • Lowering intern hours per week – 4 employers 
  • Keeping fall interns on through the spring – 3 employers 
  • Lowering intern hourly wage – 1 employer 

Only 12% (12 employers) of those employers now no longer plan on hosting spring interns. Twenty-four percent (24 employers) said they’re unsure. When asked why they are not/may not be hiring spring interns, their responses included (employers were able to select all that apply): 

  • Uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 – 25 employers 
  • Economic uncertainty – 15 employers
  • Lack of staff to supervise spring interns – 8 employers 
  • Company currently does not have need for spring interns – 4 employers 

When asked about summer 2021, 71% (110 employers) indicated that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they typically hired summer interns. Six percent (9 employers) indicated that they were unsure if their company typically hired interns.  

With current knowledge of events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, 70% (84 employers) of those 119 employers said they still plan on hiring summer interns. Of that 70% who still plan on hiring, 42 employers said they still plan on hiring interns without changes to plans. Forty-two employers said they plan on hiring summer interns, but with changes to plans. 

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

  • Continue to evaluate program to make additional changes – 22 employers 
  • Changing in-house internships to virtually hosted – 18 employers 
  • Changing internship start/end date – 13 employers 
  • Hiring fewer interns – 9 employers 
  • Lowering intern hours per week – 7 employers 
  • Bringing back previous summer interns – 7 employers 
  • Keeping spring interns through summer – 4 employers 
  • Lowering intern hourly wage – 2 employers 

Four percent (5 employers) of the 119 employers said they no longer plan on hiring interns this summer due to COVID-19. Twenty-five percent (30 employers) said they’re unsure. When asked why they are not/may not be hiring summer interns, their responses included (employers were able to select all that apply): 

  • Too early to tell – 25 employers 
  • Economic uncertainty – 17 employers 
  • Lack of staff to supervise summer interns – 9 employers 
  • Company currently does not have need for summer interns – 4 employers 

Only two employers who typically hire spring and summer interns said they do not plan on hiring them in 2021. 

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

  • Nonprofit – other – 12% 
  • Manufacturing – 12% 
  • Nonprofit – health and human services – 8% 

The most common Indiana counties represented were: 

  • Marion – 25% 
  • Allen – 10% 
  • Hamilton – 6% 
  • Porter – 6% 
  • Lake and St. Joseph – tied with 5% 

Forty-one percent of responses (63 employers) came from employers with between 1 and 24 employees. Twenty-one percent of responses (32 employers) came from employers with 250-plus employees. 

We will have two more blog posts coming out. One will be focused on micro-internships will the other will be about virtual internships. Stay tuned!

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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