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Thinking about taking an unpaid internship? Read this first.

Loans, Student Loans

College students and soon-to-be graduates are applying to internships—both on campus and off—as a way to break into the job market. Of these available internships, nearly half are unpaid or paid below minimum wage, estimates Ross Perlin, author of “Intern Nation.” Odds are, then, that students will come across appealing listings that require them to make a choice: Should they work for experience or for a paycheck? Experience can be invaluable, especially in a tough job market, but it’s always important to keep finances in mind. Before students make that choice, they should consider the following statistics—statistics that convinced us that most unpaid internships aren’t worth it.


Infographic by Brian Yee