This study utilises an internship framework to justify the need for feedback from all three groups of internship stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to determine the benefits, skills, and outcomes students gained through internships from the perspective of students, university and employers.
A set of structured questionnaires was used to survey the perceptions of students, university and employers of an accounting internship. A total of 172 responses were analysed.
Findings show that all three groups of stakeholders perceived that students benefit from the internship programme. They also perceived that an internship provides the students with both the technical and soft skills required in the marketplace. However, the mean score and ranking differ among the students, university and employers.
The study was conducted based on feedback on a single accounting programme. Therefore any characteristics inherent in this sample that differ from the overall population of accounting programmes could bias the results and limit its generalisability and any associated inferences. Questionnaire responses should be interpreted with caution as perceptions and self-insights are subjective and may or may not be reflective of reality. This study falls short of putting forward any reasons why results differ from previous studies or why the mean scores of the three stakeholders all differ. Further research may take into consideration a comparison of internship programmes across institutions and disciplines. Future studies can also use the reflection approach and interview to better explain the benefits and skills developed through accounting internship programmes.
Practically, findings from this study provide feedback to the students, university and employers to continuously improve accounting internship for undergraduate accounting programmes.
Social implications lie within the research framework that emphasises the student learning experience, university support through theoretical understanding and employer contribution through the practical component.
Internships have become part of an accounting curriculum in many universities globally. To date, most studies on internship practices are limited in scope and focus on feedback from a single perspective. This study fills the gap in the literature by conducting a perception-based survey of internship stakeholders: students, university and employers, on benefits and skills acquired through internship.
The authors would like to extend the appreciation to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for funding the research project (UKM-PTS-032-2010).
Maelah, R., Muhammaddun Mohamed, Z., Ramli, R. and Aman, A. (2014), "Internship for accounting undergraduates: comparative insights from stakeholders", Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 6, pp. 482-502. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-09-2012-0088Download as .RIS
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