A number of tertiary course require student to undertake a period of unpaid work at an institution or organisation as part of their programme. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type course requirement? An increasing number of tertiary institutions require their students to engage in volunteer work nowadays, including summer internships or community service. While having a programme like this can be positive, especially for students who lack social practice, it also poses harmful effects. Students who acquire jobs closely related to their majors will most likely benefit from the experience of volunteer work. On one hand, it enhances their further understanding of subjects that they have been taught at university; on the other hand, it provides an opportunity to gain working experience at the organization where they were assigned to volunteer. Furthermore, to provide service to communities or help disabled person to live better, encourage volunteers to be socially responsible people, which increase their competitive advantage and employability.
However, according to recent researches, unpaid internship experiences do not seem to give college students much of a leg up and are waste of time when it comes to look for employment. Statistics shown that more than half of paid interns under their belt received at least one job offer, which was twice as formal unpaid interns. This situation was even worse in terms of salary. Among students who found jobs, former unpaid interns were actually offered less money than those with no internship experience. Moreover, researches also indicate that less unpaid interns received job offer as the conclusion of their latest internship than paid interns, and even if volunteer jobs do occasionally turn into permanent job opportunities, it is relatively rare. In conclusion, I am convinced that conducting an unpaid work as a compulsory course in tertiary institution is not in the best interest of students. In order to ensure this course fulfilling an important educational purpose, I suggest they should be given more flexibility to choose between paid work and unpaid work.
Courtney from Study Moose
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