Almost 9 in 10 digital agency interns are not paid

Almost 9 in 10 digital agency interns are not paid

When it comes to digital agencies the learning opportunities offered by paid internships outstrips those of unpaid arrangements, B&T research has found.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

When paid digital agency interns were asked who benefited more from their internships 67% they did and only 33% said the experience was more beneficial for the employer.

However, 53% of unpaid digital interns said their time was more valuable to the employer.

Only 46% of unpaid digital interns said they gained more from the arrangements than the businesses, B&T’s survey ‘Adland: An intern’s perspective found’.

The gap between the satisfaction of paid and unpaid grads may indicate that when agencies pay their interns they also invest more time mentoring or developing them.

Of those who had completed placements within digital agencies 88% were not paid.

Unpaid internships within digital agencies run anywhere from two weeks or less through to ‘up to 12 months’ but the most common duration was ‘up to two months’ (40%) followed by ‘one month or less’ and ‘up to six months’, both 24%.

The most common running times for paid placements are ‘up to two months’ (67%) and ‘up to 12 months’ (33%).

One survey respondent who is currently employed in a digital agency and completed unpaid placements with digital shops said: “I hate free internships with deep burning passion as I feel companies use them to replace paid labour.”

“This was not 100% true in my unpaid internship but do feel that a daily stipend should be provided.

“This means you do not actually lose money working for free. Even just $30 a day would make me feel better, that would pay for public transport and lunch.”

These figures have been pulled out of the 300-plus responses to the ‘Adland: An Intern’s perspective’ survey.

For a look at figures from across the  media, marketing, advertising, PR and digital industries click here.