Are unpaid internships worth investing your time  

The unpaid internship is a widely debated matter among graduating students, with strong opinions on either side. Yet the question remains: Are unpaid internships worth investing in your time? To answer this question, read the blog further.

What are unpaid internships?

Let’s understand the meaning of unpaid internships. An unpaid internship does not provide any financial compensation for the tasks and projects you perform for the company. The purpose of an unpaid internship is observed learning and for the intern to gain exposure to the real work environment.

Advantages and disadvantages

Even if we say money isn’t everything, we know it matters. While looking for internships, considering some wage isn’t wrong. Some students find it challenging to work as unpaid interns, particularly if they don’t have a part-time job, savings, or financial support. 

So, why would anyone consider applying for unpaid internships? Here is the list of benefits of unpaid internships:

1. Relatively easier to find 

Unpaid internships are relatively easier to find, and companies are keen to invest time and mentoring support where they can spot great talent.

2. Real-world experience 

Real-world internship experiences always add to your knowledge. Sitting in a classroom, you cannot get hands-on experience of the working environment. For instance, if someone works for a magazine publishing company as a proofreader. The student with a literature niche can get knowledge of different writing styles used during this internship.

3. Highlight on CV 

Internships of any kind can be used as a highlight on your resume. Employers are looking for agile candidates with experience outside of the classroom. Adding the skills relevant to your internships helps you stand out as a strong candidate. It’s okay if you don’t receive a job offer, but your experience won’t go waste as it indeed opens doors for new opportunities.

4. Earn Course Credits  

Many universities appreciate students and provide them with credits for doing internships. The criteria for receiving university credits depend on the projects you worked on, reports, time, and university rules. If you want to earn extra credits, this can be your chance to grab them. 

5. Develop New Skills 

Internships help you find your inner talent and skills. As interns are assigned multiple tasks based on their major. These assignments can help interns find new skills in themselves. 

Disadvantages :

As we saw there are multiple benefits of working as an unpaid intern, but there are some drawbacks. Before you make you apply for the best internship program, consider the downside of applying for unpaid internships.

1. No Paychecks 

By the definition of unpaid internships, you can understand that you have to work for free. Even when there are numerous skills trainees learn during an internship program, candidates find it difficult to devote time and productivity for zero compensation. Many students lack personal savings and financial help from parents. Paid internships are crucial for such candidates.

2. Affects the Student Debt Crisis

Unpaid internships leverage the financial burden on the students. The rising costs of courses and universities make it difficult for students to pay their loans. Applying for unpaid internships will not support the student. They might end up having zero savings.

3. Adding Workload 

Any internship requires time and effort both. Unpaid internships may feel like a burden – No matter how rewarding the experience it may be. Most students intern during their last graduating years – unpaid internships can increase their workload as numerous submissions are aligned at the end of the terms. It’s tough to manage internship work with studying.

4.Taking advantage of interns 

Some organisations use interns to get their work done for free. This benefits the companies to save money, but it is not profitable for the interns. The unpaid internship will have the same workload as the paid internship. So it might be risky to apply for an unpaid internship.


Eventually, it depends on the student to decide whether they want a paid or unpaid internship. The factors that affect the decision can be financial stability, working opportunities, student graduation fields, and many more. However, consider the pros and cons mentioned above before applying for the best internship program.