The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value of internships for professional careers in the built environment (BE) sector from the perspective of industry practitioners. It examines the perceptions of practitioners about internship and explores the relevance of internships for professional careers in the sector.
The research methods used were questionnaire survey, in-depth interviews and focus group discussion. The study focussed on careers such as architects, civil engineers, facility managers, project managers and quantity surveyors.
It was found that quantity surveyors and civil engineers value internship the most and are more likely to hire those who interned with them. Project managers also value internships but to a lesser extent. Facility managers and architects value internship the least and are also least likely to offer positions to their ex-interns. It is not conclusive whether internships are absolutely necessary to increase undergraduates’ employability upon their graduation.
The study is limited to only five professions and focused on the perceptions of professionals and not the interns or academic supervisors.
Recommendations are made to improve internship programmes in the BE sector. These include making internships compulsory for students who intend to pursue civil engineering and quantity surveying careers and extending the duration of internships to six months.
The views of professionals in the BE sector are uncovered. Tertiary institutions can use the findings to improve their internship programmes and their students’ employability upon graduation.
Lian, J., Foo, Z. and Ling, F. (2018), "Value of internships for professional careers in the built environment sector in Singapore", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 77-89. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-09-2015-0133Download as .RIS
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