Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave New Economy

Discussion in 'Education' started by chanel, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    The Growing Culture of Unpaid Internships - US News and World Report

    Controversial issue for sure.

    Should interns at least make minimum wage? Are college kids being exploited? Or are they getting an unfair advantage over kids who cannot afford to do this?

    Some colleges offer credit. But is it fair that students (parents) have to pay six months tuition for a kid to work a job for free?

    Thoughts?

    (I have a feeling I may be siding with the lefties on this issue) :cool:
     
  2. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    I've done plenty of internships and see nothing wrong with trading gaining experience for compensation. And many internships lead to jobs.
     
  3. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    But an internship is a part of the instruction/education of the skill being imparted. If an employer had to pay an unskilled person and instruct them in them in the job then they would probably bypass them and hire a skilled and experienced worker. The whole idea is to entice people to take on interns or apprentices and give them experience in the real world. It is a continuing part of their education. They do not get paid for school do they?
     
  4. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    Kid #1 spends more time at his unpaid internship than his paid job, and not a lot of kids can afford to do that.

    Kid #2 will be in an engineering co-op program next year. 100% of the internships are paid.

    The law is pretty sketchy on this.

    "The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded"

    That makes no sense to me at all. "no immediate advantages"? :confused:
     
  5. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    That's correct.

    An intern is an investment. You take someone with no real world skill and introduce them to a real world work environment.

    It's vastly different from academics.
     
  6. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    I understand that. I am a teacher and had to spend thousands of dollars while student teaching for free. But the "on the job" experience was critical.

    Not all internships are created equal and perhaps that's the bigger issue. In popular fields like acting and fashion, there is no reason to pay anyone because there are a ton of kids who want to do that. But is getting coffee and donuts an "educational experience"?

    With so many people unemployed right now, I just feel that the system is ripe for exploitation. Why pay when you get someone for free?
     
  7. zzzz
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    zzzz Just a regular American

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    Yet when you select a career you understand that there will be a period of internship and it will be unpaid. And yes some people get taken advantage of, but isn't that true in all situations?
     
  8. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Interns aren't under the same obligations as salaried employees. Last year I was working on a critical migration that had me in the office for 16 hours sometimes..and working 6 to 7 days a week. I had to do it.

    If I were an intern? I would have worked on the stuff that was interesting and left when I wanted to.
     
  9. chanel
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    chanel Silver Member

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    I am seriously conflicted on this. Granted, the companies are providing training. Granted, the students are padding their resumes. I suppose my biggest beef is with the colleges. Should they be getting 100 percent tuition for doing little more than "head hunting"?
     
  10. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    They do a lot more then head hunting. They provide teachers with a good deal of knowledge and experience to teach their students. They provide labs to do work in. They provide students with meaningful social interaction. I don't know how you stretch this into knocking colleges?
     

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