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Internships replacing entry-level jobs

PHOENIX -- Just a few years ago taking on a job without a paycheck was almost unthinkable. Now it's called an internship and a step toward future employment.

Eileen McGarry, executive director of career services and student engagement at the University of Arizona told the Wall Street Journal, the intern has become today's entry-level hire.

According to the Journal, the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds remained at an all-time high of almost 11.5 percent. Young adults lacking college degrees were having an especially hard time finding entry-level jobs.

Theresa Maher with Jobing.com said internships are a great way for companies to test the talent coming out of the colleges and universities. It's a two-way street.

"It lets the candidate test out the company before they make the commitment to an actual job whether they'd be a good fit there," Maher said.

"An internship is sometimes treated as a probationary period. The companies can see different candidate skills and how the fit into the culture and really see what that candidate is all about before they make the official investment with a job offer."

Maher said employers' expectations were higher now and interns and entry-level hires were expected to be work-ready right away.

"Technology is huge in the way we're communicating and connecting with people to gain knowledge and information on companies and industry which is greater now than ever before. This is a fast-moving market."

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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