To Intern or Not to Intern: Which Companies Require an Internship?

Dana Guterman
Updated: December 19, 2019

For some, an internship is about the experience. For others, it’s the path to a full-time job. Here at Chegg Internships, we’ve explored internships in light of landing a specific role at a specific company. Then, we looked at the importance of interning if you’re pursuing a certain role (at any company). Now, it’s time for the final reveal: whether you should intern if you want any job at a certain company.

A few notes: If you’re considering whether interning at a given company will score you a full-time job at that same company, we’ve already looked at intern-to-hire conversion across 13 popular firms. Below, you’ll find the companies with the highest percentage of workers who have any internship experience. Also, all the stats below apply to recent hires with bachelor’s degrees. Make sense? Good, let’s take a look.

Percentage of employees who did an internship by company

Chegg internal data model

Get an internship:

If you want to work at one of the Big Four accounting firms, they want you to have internship experience. PwC leads the pack, with 83.6 percent of new hires having interned; EY (83.2 percent), KPMG (82.6 percent), and Deloitte (82.2 percent) are just a percentage or two behind. Tech firms also like former interns, with 80.2 percent of recent Facebook workers having done an internship, 78.3 percent at Google, and 70.1 percent at IBM. But the organization with the highest percentage of employees with internship experience might surprise you: it’s US Congress, where 89.4 percent of new hires have done an internship!


Go either way:

For many companies, internship experience is more of a bonus than a must-have. Many hospitals and health care companies are split down the middle; 52.6 percent of Massachusetts General Hospital employees have internship experience, 48.4 percent of UnitedHealth Group employees, and 46.2 percent of Johns Hopkins employees. Wannabe tech workers who haven’t interned might want to check out companies that offer less specialized entry-level roles, including Apple, where 55.5 percent of entry-level employees did an internship, or Lyft, where it’s 48.7 percent. Consumer goods and retail companies also tend to be flexible. For example, around half of new hires at Gap (53.9 percent), Target (52.8 percent), and Starbucks (47.1 percent) have held an internship.


Get extra credit:

If you know an internship isn’t on the horizon, that’s okay! There are plenty of companies that don’t insist on previous internship experience. Just a quarter of new recruits have done an internship at federal agencies like the US Army (24.2 percent), US Navy (27.3 percent), and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (26.1 percent). The same is true of employees at the US Postal Service, where 28.5 percent have interned. Several health care companies also hire their employees without internship experience: at Kaiser Permanente, 36.5 percent of employees have interned, while at CVS Health, it’s 39.5 percent. Other major employers less focused on internship experience include Verizon at 38.5 percent, Walmart at 37.1 percent, Best Buy at 37.1 percent, and FedEx at 36.4 percent.