Four out of five students expect to work without pay after their graduation, an international survey revealed.
Study illustrates that despite the upturn in the global economy and a massive skills shortage in many western countries, most students fear they will not be able to find a paid job after they graduate.
Third year Kingston University economics student, Uzair Aman, 22, said: “Even if it was a very good experience, I would not accept an unpaid job because I have to support myself. I live alone so I have to work in order to pay my bills.
“When you finish university and apply for jobs, you go to the interviews where there are 50 to 60 people who applied for the same position, so it is extremely hard and competitive.”
Nutrition student Judith Udunna, 23, who was a lot more positive about the unpaid job opportunities, said: “If it’s an amazing position and I know it is going to open a lot of doors, I would go for it.”
Global career matchmaking platform, 10 Minutes With, performed the international research last year.
Founder of the company, Manfredi Di Cintio, explained the ups and downs of internships.
“Internships can be a great way for graduates to get a foot in the door and for the employee and employer to gauge their compatibility to one another,” said Mr Di Cintio. “However, we are now in a situation where there are thousands of excellent, paid graduate jobs going unfilled because companies are mismanaging their recruitment and are struggling to find young talent with the right set of skills.”
Research showed that one of the most seriously impacted sectors was firms working in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sector.
KU chemistry student James Kang, 23, explained that getting a chemistry internship or an unpaid job was not easy.
“If I would get an opportunity, it would be great. It would look well on my CV and that way I could get some valuable experience,” said Mr Kang.
Lavanya Ragharjee, 22, a third year pharmacology student, said: “I think there is no point in getting an unpaid internship for a whole year, because you end up simply wasting your time, since you are not getting paid for your work.
“Internships are only good for a short period of time. I would only agree to do a six, maximum nine months free internship.”