College internships make many pay to work

With the way the economy is right now, many people are scraping to make and save as much money as possible.

People with and without jobs, alike, are saving money in order to survive in the tough economic struggle. While people in the work force hang onto every dollar, here I am in college, spending $14,000 a year to get myself into the work force with a piece of paper that says I am competent and have some kind of skill set in a specific area.

These skills are only sharpened through experience and the best way to do that in college is to take an internship. However, finding an internship is becoming incredibly difficult, let alone a paid internship.

I have accepted an internship for the summer that is unpaid because the company I am interning with cannot afford to pay me. It is a small newspaper that is located in my hometown.
I am OK with taking the internship for experience.

I am also OK with not getting paid because the company I am working for cannot afford it.
What I am not OK with is the fact that if I want to show that I had this internship, I have to take it for credit through the university.

Not only do I have to take it for credit but I also have to pay for the credits. If money is so tight for everybody, everywhere, why in the world am I paying to work?

Why do I have to keep paying thousands of dollars to work? I thought the point of working was to make money, not pay it.

Another thing I do not understand about internships is how they are always highly encouraged, but they are extremely difficult to come across. Many places are cutting down on personnel. They are trying to save money and be as frugal as possible. That means companies are not hiring interns whether they are paid or unpaid. Companies that were always reliable for giving students internships have eliminated programs entirely.

If experience is the best teacher, then why are companies not offering positions to teach the future of the workforce?

My brother will graduate in May with a degree in engineering. He has had a paid internship since his junior year. At the beginning of his final semester, he had a professor tell him that if a firm will not offer a paid internship to an engineer, the firm is not worth it.

Well, not everybody is an engineer.

I think everybody should be given the opportunity to have a paid internship and to not pay for one.
I do not want to struggle in the economy as much as the next person, but if I have to continually dish out money to work and to get experience, I am on a fast track to joining people in economic distress.

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