With the growing popularity of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) tools, many fear there will be less work for employees to take on – as AI can now complete tasks such as research, data entry, and email writing.

College interns or recent graduates traditionally completed many of these assignments, begging the question of how AI will impact young workers.

This month, Intelligent.com surveyed 804 hiring managers to understand the impact of AI on student interns and recent college graduates.

What we found:

  • 78% of hiring managers say their company will layoff recent graduates due to AI use
  • Nearly all hiring managers are more likely to hire a recent graduate with AI experience
  • 69% believe that AI can do the work of a recent college grad
  • Some companies are already hiring fewer interns, recent grads due to AI
  • 7 in 10 say AI can do the jobs of interns
  • More than half trust AI over interns, recent grads

8 in 10 Hiring Managers Say Recent Graduates Will Get Laid Off Due to AI

In the next year, AI will lead to layoffs for many recent college graduates. While 22% of hiring managers say within the next year no recent graduates will face layoffs at their company because of AI, 78% say they will. Of companies that will lay off recent graduates, 23% report that less than 3% will be let go. Twenty-seven percent believe 5% to 10% of recent graduates will lose their job, and 11% say between 15% to 30%.

Finally, 11% believe 30% to 60% are expected to be laid off, and 6% report 70% or more of recent graduates will lose their jobs.

“Many recent graduates are hired to fill entry-level roles that involve information-related tasks such as research, data entry, customer service, and general office assistance,” says Chief Education and Career Development Advisor, Huy Nguyen. “While these entry-level positions provide people entering the workforce for the first time with crucial experience, they are also the ones that are most easily replaced by artificial intelligence.”

“While AI can’t fully replace the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving that humans provide, it can certainly take over many of the routine and repetitive tasks that newly-hired graduates are assigned. This makes recent graduates among the most vulnerable for having their roles consolidated or even eliminated through wide-spread AI adoption.”

Nearly all hiring managers are more likely to hire a recent graduate with AI experience

We found that AI experience is valuable for recent graduates in the hiring process. Of surveyed hiring managers, 95% are much more (55%) or somewhat more likely (40%) to hire a graduate with an AI background. Meanwhile, a mere 4% are not much more likely, and 1% are not more likely at all.

1 in 20 Companies Offer Fewer Jobs to College Grads Due to AI

AI is impacting recent college graduates’ job opportunities. 7% report that they offer fewer jobs for recent grads, while 22% say that they offer neither more nor less and 70% say that since November 2022 they offer more job opportunities.

Of those who offer fewer jobs, the majority (53%) report that this is due to AI. Additionally, hiring managers say the reasons are financial constraints (29%) and grads being difficult to work with (13%).

“While the total number of job opportunities and internships may be on the rise, the types of entry-level roles being created are shifting due to the rapid pace of technology advancement, especially through AI and automation,” offers Nguyen.

“Businesses have enormous incentives to reduce costs and increase productivity by replacing human capital through AI for any tasks that can be automated. Young people without specialized skills or related experience will find it even more difficult to get their foot in the door.”

Companies That No Longer Offer Internships Blame AI

While 86% of hiring managers report that their companies offer internships, 5% say that they stopped offering internships, and 8% say they never did.

Of those who stopped offering internships, 78% terminated their program within the last two years, while 19% say they stopped offering internships 3 or more years ago.

AI was found to be a key reason for this decline with 29% of hiring managers reporting AI took over intern responsibilities.

“Missing out on internship opportunities and other early career-related experiences could have big consequences,” says Huy. “Without these hands-on experiences and guidance, the transition from academia to working in the real world becomes much more challenging. Students may miss key experiences in workplace culture, professional networking, and developing critical soft skills – such as the ability to communicate, collaborate with others, time management, and analytical problem solving.”

“If real-world experiential learning opportunities become limited, we could see recent grads looking to enter the workplace who are theoretically smart but may lack practical skills and real insight about working in a professional environment that make candidates truly job-ready. While AI can create opportunities for many industries, we need to reevaluate how we educate and train students to ensure that they are prepared for the future job landscape, which will increasingly rely on human and AI collaboration.”

7 in 10 say AI can do the work of interns, recent grads

Among hiring managers, 84% say that they have offered more internship opportunities since November 2022, when ChatGPT broke into the mainstream. Further, 11% say that they offer neither more nor less, and 4% report that they offer less internships for students.

However, of those that offer fewer opportunities, 63% report that this is due to AI taking over interns’ work. Other reasons include: saving money (56%), lack of time to train interns (26%), and interns being difficult to work with (11%).

The vast majority of hiring managers believe that AI can do an intern’s job; 70% fully (32%) or somewhat (38%) agree, while 18% somewhat (13%) or fully (5%) disagree. Additionally, 11% are neutral.

Additionally, seven in 10 hiring managers fully (34%) or somewhat (35%) agree that AI can do the work of a recent graduate. Conversely, 15% somewhat disagree and 6% fully disagree with this statement. Ten percent are neutral.

The top jobs that hiring managers believe AI can complete are data entry (73%), email writing (73%), research (63%), task lists (61%), and customer support (61%).

Majority trusts AI’s work more than interns, recent grads

Of hiring managers, 57% trust AI more than an intern, with 28% trusting AI significantly and 29% somewhat more. Conversely, 24% trust them the same, while 19% trust AI somewhat (14%) or significantly (5%) less. Less than 1% say they don’t know.

The majority (56%) also trusts the work of AI more than a recent grad, with 28% trusting AI significantly and 28% somewhat more. Additionally, 22% trust them the same, while 15% trust AI somewhat less and 6% significantly less. 1% say they don’t know.


All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by Intelligent.com. The survey launched on April 17, 2024 via Pollfish. In total, 804 U.S. hiring managers were surveyed.

Demographic criteria were used to ensure qualified respondents. This criteria included age (25+), household income (>$50,000), organizational role (owner/partner, HR manager, resident/CEO/chairperson, C-Level executive, CFO, CTO, senior management, director), company size (>11), and education (high school, technical college, college, or postgraduate).

For more information contact [email protected].