Internships help students gain a better perspective on job profiles. The Annual Internship Hiring Trends 2024 by Internshala, a career-tech platform, suggests that there has been a 200 per cent increase in internship opportunities for Indian students over the past five years. This is based on the number of internship openings posted on the platform over the past five years.

“Internship opportunities have seen a remarkable 200 per cent growth in the past five years, that is, a 3x growth since 2018. With the consistent efforts made by stakeholders including students, recruiters, college faculties, parents, and platforms like Internshala, there has been a multi-fold increase in the internship openings for Indian students in the past 10 years,” says Sarvesh Agrawal, the founder and CEO of Internshala.

Evolving landscape

The Annual Internship Hiring Trends 2024 report found that business development and management sector provided the maximum number of internships — 44 per cent. The report is based on the 29,12,511 internship postings listed on Internshala in 2023.

Says Kamal Karanth, Co-founder, Xpheno, a specialist staffing company, “From the executive office to HR, admin, finance, MIS, procurement, quality and more, enterprises have a lot happening in the typical management realm of responsibilities and projects and initiatives. This wide set of deliverables provide a lot of avenues for deploying talent.”

Engineering was the second most sought after stream with 20 per cent of the total, providing technology-focused internships in programming, AutoCAD, Civil, Web and App development.

Media came in third with 18 percent.

Richy D Alexander, CEO and Founder of Davidson PR and Communications, also agrees that there has been an increase in the number of internship applications in 2023, “At Davidson PR and Communications, we’ve witnessed this trend first-hand, with 18 applications received in 2023 compared to nine in the previous year. One key reason behind this surge is the growing awareness among students about the importance of practical knowledge, especially in fields like public relations.”

Meanwhile, finance and data science trailed in providing internship opportunities to only two per cent and one per cent, respectively.

The relatively smaller size of the finance function in corporates, provide only less bandwidth for engaging interns. The finance function is still known to take qualified finance MBAs and CA aspirants for specific engagements on projects as interns.

Pre-placements fall

The report also found that only 23 per cent of internships provided a pre-placement offer (PPO). “Amidst sustained headwinds and macroeconomic uncertainties, campus activity and fresher absorption has seen one of its sharpest declines in nearly a decade. As a subset of this low-to-no hiring phase, a drop in PPOs is not unusual,” says Karanth.

According to the report, the average stipend in 2023 was ₹8,000 per month, with maximum stipend reaching a whopping ₹1,35,000 per month. Internships varied in duration, ranging from 1 week to 6 months, averaging at 3.66 months.

When it comes to location, the report noted that Delhi-NCR held the lion’s share of internship openings at 34 per cent, followed by Mumbai at 16 per cent, Bengaluru at 10 per cent, Pune at five per cent, Hyderabad and Jaipur at three per cent each. This distribution indicates promising opportunities for aspiring students in these cities in 2024.

Internships are vital for talent development, and it serves as a means for enterprises to identify and engage promising individuals early on. The evolving landscape will see internships become even more impactful as the gaps between institutions and industries diminish, creating better opportunities.