- Yet 72% of those who are offered a job from their internship decline the offer
- It’s a graduate’s job market: 1 in 3 (34%) have declined a job
- Confidence crisis: 6 in 10 decline graduate jobs as they don’t think they’ve got the right skills
More than half (53%) of internships result in job offers, according to research by student and graduate careers resource Milkround. 5,319 current university students and recent graduates were surveyed by Milkround for its annual graduate report, The Candidate Compass.
In a time when record numbers of students are graduating with first-class degrees* the importance of bolstering CVs with work experience has never been higher. It is perhaps unsurprising to see that 57% of graduates have completed an internship or work experience whilst at university.
Job offer rejection
And it seems these internships are paying off with over half of those who have completed one being offered a role at the same company. However, interestingly 72% of the people who received an offer from their internship declined it.
The trend of declining offers was mirrored in the general graduate job market. Over a third (34%) of graduates have declined a job, with a third (33%) of this number having declined two or more.
Surprisingly, most graduates who declined a job after graduation said it was because that they weren’t confident in their skills (58%), while 19% said it was because a role wasn’t right for them. Nearly one in ten (7%) said it was due to salary, with less than 1% turning down a job because of unsatisfactory company benefits.
It’s hard to say no
Beyond simply declining offers, nearly three-quarters (70%) of graduates said they were willing to back out of a job offer they’d accepted, with nearly a third (30%) stating they’ve already done so. Of those who did it, 64% said it was because they didn’t know how to decline, 22% received a better offer elsewhere, and just 9% actually changed their mind.
Francesca Parkinson at Milkround, said: “It’s well known the benefits that an internship can bring to a CV, adding depth and on-the-job experience that complements academic qualifications, and our research shows that there is now a clear, direct link between internships and job offers at the same company.
Although the majority of those offered jobs from their internships turn them down, the fact students are thinking about their future while in academia shows a real savviness amongst today’s graduates. This bodes well for their future – and for businesses looking to hire top talent straight out of university.
Employers who want to minimise the number of candidates reneging on offers can keep in regular contact with graduates ahead of their start date. They could also keep the time between the offer and the start date as short or possible, or even invite their new employee to a social event ahead their first day, which is also a great ice breaker!”