Career Re-entry Programs

Background: There has been an explosion of career re-entry programs since 2004, when the topic of career re-entry began to gain steam in the media and as a research topic for academics. At iRelaunch, we have been tracking career re-entry programs of all kinds since 2008. Our first list included 57 programs worldwide, at universities, employers, government agencies, professional associations, non-profits and foundations. Only nine of these 57 programs, or 16%, existed prior to 2004. Domestically, six of 43, or almost 14%, existed prior to 2004.

In 2012, iRelaunch Chair and Co-Founder Carol Fishman Cohen authored our report on the growing use of mid-career internships or internship-like experiences as an effective vehicle for professionals to return to work after time away. This report was the basis for her seminal HBR article "The 40-Year-Old Intern," which was the first to recognize the emergence of mid-career internships and to predict the proliferation of formal corporate reentry internship programs. 

Carol described the phenomenon as "quietly emerging" at the time. Not anymore. We have seen a huge uptick in the number of corporate re-entry internship programs, in addition to corporate career re-entry programs that are event-based or feature direct-hire opportunities with transitional support. Global hubs of career re-entry program activity center in the U.S., U.K. and India. Shoutout to Women Returners for their work in the UK career re-entry space and their list of U.K. programs which is a helpful resource for us in compiling this list. 

Some programs that are no longer running were designed to only run once, while others might have been intended to run longer but did not. Note we don’t double count programs that are offered jointly between a school and a company, or an association and a company, although we list them separately. We also don't count strategic volunteering programs.

Help us keep the list current and accurate! Please contact us at to let us know about additions or corrections to the list. For expert advice on starting, refining or sourcing a re-entry internship program, please click here.

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