Unpaid Internships: Good or Bad?

I've always been of two minds about unpaid internships. On the one hand, you get a chance to learn valuable skills that will, hopefully help you get a good job later in life. On the other hand, they're UNPAID.

An opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times suggests these internships increase income inequity, because only the relatively well-off can afford to take the unpaid time off to serve in one, then reap the benefits of their newly acquired skills.


LOL, I share Akst's resentment. I worked during my summers.

There's a bias in who does internships, but it's not only economic. Part of it is knowing the value of an internship when you're 20 years old - I didn't understand it was valuable, so I didn't do them. And this wasn't just ignorance, but obstinance - "what did these rich kids know?" was my attitude. The way I saw it, I had to keep the debt down; so I worked shit jobs and also did some computer work. (Besides, I wasn't good enough to score paid technical internships.)

The real value of internships is that it puts you into the upper-end of the labor market. The connections are everything.