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by Vault Careers | October 25, 2023


We’re thrilled today to share our 2024 Internship Rankings! The Internship Rankings highlight the top programs in more than 30 categories. Vault’s rankings include the Most Prestigious Internships, Best Overall Internships, Best Internships by Industry, Best Internships by Role, Best Internships for Diversity, and Best Internships for Key Employment Factors.

This past summer, Vault surveyed more than 13,000 current and former interns from 145 internship programs. We asked respondents to rate a list of top companies on how prestigious its internship is. We also asked respondents to rate and review their own internship experiences for our 2024 Best Internships Rankings in six core areas: Quality of Life, Compensation & Benefits, Interview Process, Career Development, Full-Time Employment Prospects, and Diversity.

To determine an overall score for each program, the ratings were assigned relative weights based on what interns told us they value most in an internship. The overall scores are based on the following weighted formula: 30 percent career development, 20 percent employment prospects, 20 percent quality of life, 20 percent compensation, 5 percent diversity, and 5 percent interview process. Vault then compiled rankings of the top internship programs in more than 25 different areas.

This year’s top programs are:

No. 1 Overall Best Internship: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship

Several accounting firms made their way into the top 10 this year, but PKF O’Connor Davies’ program claims the top spot. Past interns from the program said that the program offers “a nurturing environment; there is no competitive or cutthroat air.” Regarding the firm’s training process, another intern said, “There is an unlimited amount of guidance in this firm. You can go up to anyone in the office and ask questions without feeling like you're bothering them. The assignments I worked on challenged me but weren't too challenging to the point where I had no idea what I was doing. The assignments were also all important and meaningful; superiors weren't just dumping busy work on the intern's desk.” Interns also reported that the compensation is up to snuff for the work done, with one saying, “I am definitely satisfied with the compensation; I believe the pay is competitive, and the firm does a good job at rewarding hard work.”

For those interested in joining future PKF O’Connor Davies internship classes, one intern had this piece of advice to offer: “My advice is the get to know anyone you can in the office. People love to know you are willing to help them out, even if you do not always necessarily work for that person in particular. Always getting to know people is what makes work. You are with these people every day, and by this, you can understand how certain people work and operate, which is cool to be able to learn and adapt.”

No. 2 Overall Best Internship: Ellucian Inc. Internship Program

Software company Ellucian specializes in providing software for higher education and also provides an excellent internship experience for its students—so excellent that they snagged the No. 2 spot overall. Past interns at Ellucian said, “The employees are warm, sensitive, and considerate,” and that it “was a learning experience with mentors ready to help out with any issues and doubts.” One of the interns said the best part of the internship was “the help and support from mentors, managers, and other folks whenever needed.” Regarding the training offerings and mentoring program, one intern said, “There were regular training sessions held by mentors to gain insight into the technologies. Mentors assigned tasks, and a few assignment questions were given to test our knowledge. Mentors were always there to guide and answer our queries.”

A prior intern had this advice to pass along to those interested in the program: “Make good use of the project showcase and the exec Q&As. You can grab the kind of attention for your department or initiative that most interns and even most managers would never have the opportunity to do.”

No. 1 Most Prestigious Internship: NASA

NASA once again comes in the No. 1 spot for Most Prestigious Internship, this being its third consecutive year at the top. To the interns surveyed, NASA was the obvious choice for the honor, with one saying, “I mean, it’s literally rocket science.” When giving their impressions of NASA’s internship, interns said that it attracts “top minds,” that it’s “associated with brilliant people” and “you have to be a genius to work there.” Interns assert that the government agency “looks amazing on a resume” and is “one of the coolest” and “one of the most interesting and technically sound organizations in the world.” While the program is reported as “extremely exclusive [with] high standards,” survey participants also say it’s “very prestigious, especially for engineers and scientists” and an “engineering kid’s dream.” It’s hard to argue with praise like that!

Below are the No. 1 internship programs in each ranking category.

Top Internships by Employment Factor:

Quality of Life: Health Advances Internship Program
Compensation: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship
Interview Process: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship
Employment Prospects: Freed Maxick MAX Internship Program
Training & Mentoring: Precision Value & Health Internship Program
Quality of Assignments: Lumsden & McCormick Internship Program
Real-Life Experience: College Works Painting Internship
Networking Opportunities: College Works Painting Internship
Overall Career Development: College Works Painting Internship

Top Internships by Diversity Category:

Overall Diversity: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship
Individuals with Disabilities: DataArt Internship Program
LGBTQ+ Individuals: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship
Racial & Ethnic Minorities: The Home Depot Internship Program
Women: Lumsden & McCormick Internship Program

Top Internships by Industry:

Accounting: PKF O’Connor Davies Internship
Construction & Trades: HITT Futures Internship
Consulting: Bates White Summer Consultant Program
Energy & Renewables: American Electric Power Internship
Financial Services: Huntington Bank Internship Program
Health Sciences: Gilead Internship Program
Investment Banking: Harris Williams Summer Associate and Analyst Program
Media: Paramount Internship Program
Retail & Consumer Products: The Home Depot Internship Program
Tech & Engineering: Ellucian Inc. Internship Program
Travel & Transportation: FedEx College Connections Intern Program
Wholesalers & Distributors: Graybar Internship Program

Top Internships by Role:

Data Analytics: Eli Lilly and Company Internship Program
Engineering: Mastercard Internship Program
Finance: The Home Depot Internship Program
HR: Comcast Central Division Internship Program
Information Technology: Ellucian Inc. Internship Program
Sales, Marketing, & Communications: Ellucian Inc. Internship Program
Software Engineering and Development: Ellucian Inc. Internship Program
Strategy & Business Development: The Home Depot Internship Program

Please click the link to find all Vault Internship Rankings in all categories.

Trends from Vault’s Internship Survey

In addition to ranking the companies with the best internship programs, Vault discovered some interesting facts about students, internships, and the internship search:

  • 91% of internships are either hybrid or fully in-person: 53% of internships were hybrid, similar to the 54% seen last year. Another 38% were entirely on-site, compared to 31% in 2022. Only 9% were entirely virtual/remote, compared to 16% in 2022.
  • Most internships last 2 to 3 months: 44% of internships lasted 10 to 12 weeks, and 27% lasted 8-9 weeks. These are very close to the numbers seen in 2022.
  • Uncertainty about offers is up: Among those interns who were eligible for full-time employment offers, 49% said they received or expected to receive an offer. 45% were uncertain and 6% already did not receive an offer. During the same survey window last year, 60% of offer-eligible interns said they received or expected to receive an offer, 35% were uncertain, and 5% already did not receive an offer.
  • Career advancement is still the top reason to choose an internship: “Career advancement in chosen industry” was the No. 1 deciding factor when choosing an internship and “Pay” was the No. 2 deciding factor, jumping up from No. 3 last year. “Company culture,” which held the No. 2 spot last year, was No. 3. “Opportunity for full-time position” remained at No. 4.