Conventional wisdom has it that internships are the next best thing to an entry-level job, especially when there are few jobs to be found. But some are questioning the value of unpaid internships.

(Unpaid internships were a staple of the New York art world in the 1990s, because there were few other ways to break into the business. And while many were spent faxing, photocopying and filing, that was an accurate if sad reflection on entry-level jobs.)

Calling BS On Unpaid Internships “Getting an intern is so hot right now,’ writes Stewart Curry. ‘It’s also bull**** 99% of the time.’ IrishStu also provides his list of Interning’s Big Lies: 1. ‘You’ll get training.’ 2. ‘We might hire you after the internship.’ 3. ‘You get to work with an awesome team.’ 4. ‘It will look great on your CV.’ 5. ‘You’ll make great contacts.’ So, who does it really hurt, Stu? ‘Here’s who it hurts — interns. You have them working for nothing. Here’s who it hurts — people who need a wage in order to survive. Here’s who it hurts — companies that want to pay people a decent wage for work they do.’ Inside Higher Ed also checks in on The Great Intern Debate.”

For all it’s disdain of internships, Slashdot isn’t exactly sanguine about certificates as an alternative–unless you roll your own.

Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get? “Our recent discussion about how much your degree is worth got me thinking. I’ve been working in the IT field for several years now, but I don’t have anything to my name other than an A+ certificate and vendor specific training (e.g., Dell certified). Now I’m looking to move up in the IT field, and I want some stuff on my resume to demonstrate to future employers that I know what I’m doing, enough that I can get in the door for an interview. So my question to Slashdot is this: What certifications are the most valuable and sought-after? What will impress potential employers and be most likely to help land a decent job for someone who doesn’t have a degree, but knows how to troubleshoot and can do a bit of programming if needed?”

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