These states and cities are the most competitive for students seeking an internship

According to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), just 26% of students use the career center for help with internships, 21% take part in mock interviews, and 21% visit for networking preparation.

California is the most competitive state for students looking to secure an internship; city-wise, it’s New York City. However, New Hampshire has the most ample internship opportunities across the state, whereas students in Atlanta, Ga., won’t have to travel far to find a local with ample opportunities, according to a comprehensive report from

The online résumé builder scoured LinkedIn Jobs to inform college students where they’d face the most competition pursuing an internship by comparing the number of postings to the number of locals. It also determined the sectors with the highest and lowest number of internship opportunities per 1,000 jobs within each sector.

While the study appears to be mostly beneficial for college students, the results also have major implications for colleges and universities. The Burning Glass Institute and Strada Education Foundation recently found that 45% of graduates are underemployed (working jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree) a decade after graduating. Students who secured at least one internship during their time in college bucked the trend, as they were 49% less likely to be underemployed.

The most competitive locations

By State found California to be the most fierce battleground where students vie for internships, thanks to its vibrant culture and sunshine. Internship advertisements for LinkedIn Jobs received an average of 16.8 applications per day. Over a 60-day window, that’s more than 1,000 applications.

  1. California – 16.8 daily applicants
  2. Texas – 11.02
  3. Massachusetts – 7.07
  4. Illinois – 6.49
  5. Georgia – 5.83
  6. Washington – 5.76
  7. Florida – 5.15
  8. Wisconsin – 4.94
  9. New York 4.91
  10. Connecticut 4.49
By City

California and Minnesota are the only states on this list to have more than one entry in the top 10 list of most competitive cities for an internship. However, California edged out first with three. In a 60-day window, New York City receives over 600 inquiries.

  1. New York City – 10.28 daily applicants
  2. Dallas – 9.92
  3. Saint Paul – 8.87
  4. San Francisco – 8.81
  5. Charlotte – 7.74
  6. Irvine – 7.24
  7. Washington D.C. – 6.33
  8. Scottsdale – 6.29
  9. San Jose – 6.1
  10. Minneapolis – 6.06

More from UB: After “exhausting all avenues” to avoid going under, Notre Dame College closes

The most bountiful access for college students

By State

College students looking for a less stressful, low-stakes arena to find an internship should look into New Hampshire, which boasts about 50 available internships per 100,000 residents.

  1. New Hampshire – 49.96 available internships (per 100,000 people)
  2. North Dakota – 46.2
  3. Massachusetts – 38.5
  4. Wisconsin – 36.4
  5. South Dakota – 35.39
  6. Nebraska – 34.96
  7. Indiana – 34.73
  8. Kansas – 34.46
  9. Iowa – 33.03
  10. Minnesota – 32.55
By City

Colleges in Georgia will have the least stressful time in guiding their students toward internships, considering there are about 151 available per 100,00 people. With about 500,000 people living in Atlanta, that makes more than 750 internships that students can nab locally.

  1. Atlanta – 150.86 available internships (per 100,000 people)
  2. Cincinnati – 149.59
  3. Pittsburgh – 147.24
  4. St. Louis – 117.94
  5. Richmond – 117.70
  6. Washington D.C. – 101.82
  7. Boston – 101.43
  8. Orlando – 99.66
  9. Tampa – 97.95
  10. Huntsville – 91.92

Which industries are the most—and least—friendly for interns?

Intern-hopefuls seeking a position in publishing/media, fashion, music and the performing arts, which all encapsulate the entertainment industry, will have the toughest go, seeing that they receive more than 33 applications per day. That’s nearly 2,000 applications in 60 days.

When cross-referencing the industries with the highest number of applications and those with the most offerings, five industries appear to have the most robust network of internships. Computer hardware, construction, media production, management consulting and electronic manufacturing appeared in the top 10 for having the most daily applicants and offering the most opportunities.

Cut-throat competition
  1. Entertainment – 33.33 daily applicants
  2. Computer hardware – 9.38
  3. Real estate – 9.03
  4. Computer software – 8.75
  5. Electronic manufacturing – 8.17
  6. Financial services – 6.71
  7. Construction – 5.41
  8. Management consulting – 5.06
  9. Media production – 4.94
  10. Public safety – 4.56
The most offerings
  1. Farming – 90.52 internship opportunities, per every thousand jobs
  2. Media production – 72.9
  3. Construction – 38.25
  4. Oil and energy – 31.45
  5. Computer hardware – 27.99
  6. Design – 26.36
  7. Government administration – 26.12
  8. Consumer goods – 24.29
  9. Management consulting – 22.49
  10. Electronic manufacturing 22.35

What can colleges do to bolster their internship-seeking students’ competitiveness?

According to a survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), just 26% of students use the career center for help with internships, 21% take part in mock interviews, and 21% visit for networking preparation. Moreover, some research suggests that internships favor only small, privileged demographics of students.

Here is what some colleges are doing to help strengthen their students’ internship-going capability, according to Daniel Nivern, CEO and co-founder of a company that partners with universities, governments and nonprofits to guarantee internship opportunities for learners of all backgrounds.

  • Visualizing potential: The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business identifies first-year students with the least amount of work experience and helps place them in internships in the summer following their first year of retention.
  • Leverage online internships to expand access and reach: Arizona State University’s Global Education Office has placed over 400 students in online internships at companies all over the world from Ireland to Singapore that allow students to complete their work on their own schedules.
  • Identify students who may need extra support: Last summer, Landmark College (Vt.) launched an internship program that identified companies that welcomed neurodiverse students.
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel
Alcino Donadel is a UB staff writer and first-generation journalism graduate from the University of Florida. His beats have ranged from Gainesville's city development, music scene and regional little league sports divisions. He has triple citizenship from the U.S., Ecuador and Brazil.

Most Popular