Our 2022 Internship Rankings Are Here!

Published: Nov 10, 2021

 Accounting       Career Readiness       Diversity       Finance       Internships       MBA       Salary & Benefits       Technology       
Article image

Today, we're very excited to release our complete 2022 Internship Rankings. This year, our Internship Rankings highlight the top programs in more than 30 categories. Our rankings include the 50 Most Prestigious Internships, 100 Best Overall Internships, Best Internships by Industry, Best Internships by Role, Best Internships for Diversity, and Best Internships for Key Employment Factors, including Career Development, Compensation, Employment Prospects, Networking Opportunities, Quality of Assignments, Quality of Life, Real-Life Experience, and Training & Mentoring.

This past summer, we surveyed more than 11,400 current and former interns from 140 internship programs. We asked these interns about their actual internship experiences. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest, we asked interns to rate their internship experiences 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. Firsthand then compiled rankings of the top internship programs in more than 25 different areas.

This year’s winners include:

No. 1 Best Overall Internship: Infosys InStep Internship

Regarding the program’s career development opportunities, one former Infosys InStep intern tells us, “There was a great amount of learning and mentoring for all interns, especially from senior managers and C-suite officers. In terms of our direct project, we were armed with mentors that we could readily reach out to for help and feedback. In my opinion, there was a perfect amount of guidance insofar that we could explore our own ideas and use our imagination to ensure the success of the project while also having a mentor to guide and provide realistic feedback throughout the process. For interns, there were numerous networking opportunities every week to interact not just with senior managers but with other interns as well.”

As for the program’s diversity and inclusion, another former Infosys intern says, “I met interns from over 40 countries and connected with people from many different cultures and backgrounds. These cultural differences were celebrated and welcomed by the company and my fellow interns. The InStep team even hosted ‘Celebrating National Days’ and Pride month events where interns got to share their cultures and experiences with their peers.”

No. 2 Best Overall Internship: H&CO, LLP Internship 

According to former H&CO interns, the best aspects of the accounting firm’s internship include “managers who always back you up and listen to your requests,” “exposure to different aspects of business and finance,” “getting to learn from leaders in the accounting world,” “being able to communicate with clients from all around the world,” and “working alongside amazing, educated, successful people.”

Interns also rave about the work/life balance and culture at H&CO. One former intern notes, “H&CO allows for a very flexible schedule that works with your school time or other emergencies that may pop up. They’re always trying to treat their employees as best they can. They were very understanding during Covid and allowed employees to work at home for peace of mind.” And another former intern says, “The people were extremely friendly and helpful. They maintained a high level of professionalism and always made sure every individual’s accomplishments didn’t go unnoticed. Birthday celebrations were nicely organized as well.”

No. 1 Most Prestigious Internship: NASA

In addition to asking respondents to rate and review their own internship experiences for our 2022 Best Internships Rankings, we asked interns to rate the prestige of other employers to determine which internships are the most desirable. Survey respondents were presented with a list of top companies and asked to rate each company on how prestigious its internship is on a scale of 1 to 10—with 10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Interns were asked to rate only the companies whose reputations they were familiar with. Firsthand averaged the ratings for each employer and then ranked the companies in order, starting with the highest score as No. 1 down to No. 50.

And this year, NASA is our No. 1 Most Prestigious Internship. NASA takes a giant leap in the rankings this year, surpassing Google to rank No. 1 and become the Most Prestigious Internship for 2022. It’s the first time in our seven years of surveying interns that Google didn’t top our prestige ranking. This year, survey respondents tell us that NASA, which ranked No. 2 last year and No. 3 the year before, is “on the cutting-edge for all STEM majors,” “forward-thinking,” “groundbreaking,” “revolutionary,” and filled with “brainiacs” and “driven, creative people.” Respondents add that NASA “looks incredibly impressive on a resume,” has a “cool culture,” and offers “high pay.” It’s the “premier internship program,” “peak STEM,” and a “dream job.” NASA is also the “leader in space tech” and “top aerospace firm,” and offers “engaging” internships where you get to work on “big projects and presentations.” However, getting an internship with NASA is “extremely competitive.” You “need to be talented,” a “top student,” and have “extreme skills.”

Below are the rest of our Internship Rankings, along with the programs that rank No. 1 in each ranking.

Best Industry-Specific Internships

Best Accounting Internship: H&CO, LLP Internship

Best Construction Internship: HITT Futures Internship

Best Consulting Internship: CapTech Elevate Internship Program

Best Energy & Renewables Internship: American Electric Power Internship

Best Financial Services Internship: Vanguard College to Corporate Internship

Best Health Care Internship: Abbott Internship Program

Best Investment Banking Internship: Financial Technology Partners Internship Program

Best Media Internship: Nickelodeon Animation NICKternship Program

Best Retail & Consumer Products Internship: Unilever Internship Program

Best Tech & Engineering Internship: Infosys InStep Internship


Best Internships by Employment Factor 

Best Internship for Compensation & Benefits: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Full-Time Employment Prospects: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Networking Opportunities: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Overall Career Development: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Quality of Assignments: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Quality of Life: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Real-Life Experience: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Training & Mentoring: Infosys InStep Internship


Best Internships for Diversity

Best Internship for Overall Diversity: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Diversity with Respect to Women: H&CO, LLP Internship

Best Internship for Racial & Ethnic Diversity: McMaster-Carr Internship Program

Best Internship for LGBTQ+ Diversity: Unilever Internship Program


Best Internships by Role

Best Internship for Data Analytics: FedEx College Connections Intern Program

Best Internship for Engineering: Abbott Internship Program

Best Internship for Finance: Financial Technology Partners Internship Program

Best Internship for Human Resources: The Home Depot Internship Program

Best Internship for Information Technology: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Sales, Marketing, & Communications: Abbott Internship Program

Best Internship for Software Development & Engineering: Infosys InStep Internship

Best Internship for Strategy & Business Development: Infosys InStep Internship


Trends from Firsthand’s Internship Survey

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

Fewer Internships Were Virtual This Year

65% of internships were virtual this year, down from 76.5% last year; 22% of internships were partially virtual this year, up from 10.9% last year; and 13.4% were entirely on site, up from 12.6% last year.

Internships Lasted Longer This Year

3.6% of internships lasted less than 6 weeks, down drastically from 38.4% last year; 38% lasted between 6 and 9 weeks, up significantly from 23.1% last year; and 40% lasted between 10 and 12 weeks, up significantly from 24.2% last year.

Interns Were Less Satisfied with Their Virtual Internships This Year

57.6% of interns say the virtual aspects of their internships “exceeded their expectations,” down from 68.3% last year; 38.4% say the virtual aspects “met their expectations,” up from 29.4% last year; and 4.1% say the virtual aspects “fell below their expectations,” up from 2.3% last year.

Fewer Interns Landed Full-Time Offers from Their Internships

Approximately 51 percent of internships resulted in full-time job offers, down from 56 percent last year.

Career Advancement Is Still the Top Reason to Choose an Internship

Unchanged from last year, “Career advancement in chosen industry” was the No. 1 deciding factor when choosing an internship; “Corporate culture” was the No. 2 deciding factor, followed by “Opportunity for a full-time job offer” at No. 3, and “Pay” at No. 4.

Students Are Relying Less on Campus Recruiting to Find Internships

36% of respondents found their internships through campus recruiting, down from 42.6% last year; 15% through a company’s website, up from 14%; 9.1% through professional networking, up from 8.6%; 9.3% through referrals/friends and family, up from 8.4%; and 7.3% through career fairs, down from and 8.3%.

Students Still Use Laptops Most Often When Researching Internships

Like the results last year, when researching internships, most interns relied on their laptops or smartphones: 91.2% of respondents frequently used laptops, 35.1% frequently used smartphones, 20.4% frequently used desktop computers, and 5.8% frequently used tablets.

View our complete 2022 Internship Rankings.