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Internships replacing entry-level jobs

PHOENIX — Just a few years ago taking on a job without a paycheck was almost unthinkable. Now it’s called an internship and a step toward future employment.

Eileen McGarry, executive director of career services and student engagement at the University of Arizona told the Wall Street Journal, the intern has become today’s entry-level hire.

According to the Journal, the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds remained at an all-time high of almost 11.5 percent. Young adults lacking college degrees were having an especially hard time finding entry-level jobs.

Theresa Maher with said internships are a great way for companies to test the talent coming out of the colleges and universities. It’s a two-way street.

“It lets the candidate test out the company before they make the commitment to an actual job whether they’d be a good fit there,” Maher said.

“An internship is sometimes treated as a probationary period. The companies can see different candidate skills and how the fit into the culture and really see what that candidate is all about before they make the official investment with a job offer.”

Maher said employers’ expectations were higher now and interns and entry-level hires were expected to be work-ready right away.

“Technology is huge in the way we’re communicating and connecting with people to gain knowledge and information on companies and industry which is greater now than ever before. This is a fast-moving market.”