In a drastically changing world and economy, college students are feeling like their future is just as unsure. Many college students are struggling to find internships or are questioning the importance of and their dedication to do unpaid work.

An increase in job layoffs, however, has also meant an increase in internship opportunities — that is, if students are willing to work hard for free. There are several things a graduating student should consider when planning on participating in an upcoming internship.

Employers are cutting back everywhere, which in turn is providing more opportunities for unpaid internships. Since companies can’t afford to hire more employees, they are hiring interns that they don’t need to pay.

In the past school year, the amount of unpaid summer interns has doubled compared to years past. As unappealing as an unpaid work-filled summer may seem, the experience rendered is irreplaceable.

Not only are more unpaid internships available, but due to the increased amount of job layoffs, interns are now expected to be responsible for more tasks as well.

Internships are also more competitive because for the first time ever, students have to compete with not only their peers, but recently laid off employees with more experience. Having a good work ethic, good resume and a higher GPA are all important factors in applying for internships.

There is a common misconception that internships are reserved for junior and senior students. However, more students are now graduating college with three or four internships under their belt. The more experience a student gains, the more opportunities will be available upon graduating.

All of these things are important to consider and remember when going job searching for the coming summer. Although the economy’s immediate future is unsure this year, a student’s future doesn’t have to be too if well prepared.