Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
W. Jeff Wallis, EdD
Gilbert Louis, EdD
Students recognize the value that internships bring in enhancing employment prospects and increasing earnings potential in conjunction with their college degrees. The COVID- 19 pandemic has highlighted the advantages of online and hybrid work options for employers. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of virtual internships is crucial for students, employers, and institutions of higher education, as it enables them to leverage the benefits of internships, creating a talent pipeline and enhancing employment prospects after graduation. This descriptive phenomenological qualitative study aimed to explore the perceptions of undergraduate business and technology school graduates regarding the benefits, limitations, and effects of virtual internships on employment after graduation. Interviews were conducted with 10 participants who held bachelor's degrees in information technology or business. Three major findings emerged from this study. Firstly, virtual internships provide distinct advantages to business and technology students, offering valuable hands-on experiences that foster personal and professional growth despite some limitations. Secondly, physical proximity and in-person engagement are perceived as advantageous, highlighting the importance of face-to-face interactions and collaborative energy. Lastly, virtual internships prove effective in facilitating employment attainment, as evidenced by participants securing positions within their fields of study. As society embraces a more hybrid and remote work culture, the significance of virtual internships in preparing students for the future of work becomes increasingly evident, complementing the long-recognized benefits of internships for all stakeholders involved. Three recommendations are offered: (a) implement mandatory internship programs for business and IT students to enhance job prospects and career readiness, (b) adopt a hybrid internship model, and (c) foster collaboration among institutions, employers, and career services to develop specialized curricula meeting industry needs and preparing students for the workforce.
Mitchell, Taren, "The Perceived Benefits, Limitations, and Effects of Virtual Internships on Obtaining Employment for Undergraduates in Business and Information Technology" (2023). Education Doctoral. Paper 583.
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