SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the sixth consecutive year, two annual nationwide surveys, both conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), indicate that performing a college internship not only increases one's opportunities to land a job, but also to keep a job. The 2012 Internship and Co-op Survey and the Student Survey Class of 2012 revealed that 63% of paid interns received at least one job offer upon graduation. In contrast, only 36% of graduates who have no internship experience received at least one job offer.* "We've found that students who have the competitive edge of an internship (or internship/externship as we at Heald call it) are in the best position to launch their career," said Jennifer Lozada, corporate director of career services for Heald College. "An internship/externship offers a student hands-on, practical work experience which gives them a powerful, unique advantage over other job applicants – especially in today's tough job market. This experience is so beneficial to the student, in fact, that Heald's programs offer an internship/externship component for every program" The NACE surveys also found that employees who were hired from an organization's own internship/externship program were retained after one year at a rate of 75%, compared to 66% of hires that had no internship/externship experience. After five years, the difference is even more evident, as 62% of hires coming from an internship/externship program were still with the company, compared to 48% of hires with no internship/externship experience. "It stands to reason that those who performed an internship/externship and subsequently landed a job would be more familiar with the actual responsibilities of the job and better prepared to handle the job," explained Lozada. "In addition, the intern/extern also has a sneak peek into the job prior to being hired full time. These factors combine to increase job performance and stability on the part of the employee, and satisfaction with the employee on the part of the employer."