Internships, they are inevitable in today's job market. The questions that is often raised though is, are they really beneficial, or are they a facade that employers tell students? There is plenty of statistical evidence both supporting and debunking the old wives tale that internships leading to better job opportunities. While it is true that having an internship exposes the individual to field-related experience, there are plenty of opportunities to gain field experience without having an internship. One fact both sides of the argument agree upon though is, without any sort of job experience, the chances of getting a job in one's field related work become slim to none. This post will discuss getting an internship, as well as the benefits and advantages internships, provide.
Getting an internship in one's related field is beneficial whether one gets it during or post-college. On average, there are 1.5 million internships offered each year in the United States. That may seem like a like of job opportunities, to expose students and young adults to field related work experience. In 2016, there were approximately 4.5 million college graduates, leaving three million students unable to get internships post-college. Internships are often quite competitive, so applying to multiple and applying early sets one apart from everyone else. Applying to multiple internships also could allow one to make a decision about which opportunity is better for them, rather than accepting a position simply because its the only option. Why even look for internships though, going to school full time is hard enough, or even post-school, the title of intern does not sound as sophisticated.
Here are the reasons as to why internships are beneficial to both students and future employers. If nothing else is enticing, then simply being offered more money due to previous intern work should encourage students to want to do internships. Additionally, for some majors, internships are actually required in order to graduate with a degree. Some colleges and majors do this to ensure that students are able to apply and gain more experience than what they can learn from a book in a classroom. Along with that note, employers value applicants who have previous experience over those who do not simply because it shows that the individual is familiar with the field and will be able to hit the ground running.
Lastly, one of the largest reasons to take an internship, even just for a summer, is to grow the professional working world connections. The saying "it is not what you know, it is who you know" often is true in the world of work. Want to switch career directions, want to start working for a new company, need a job in general? Knowing someone who can advocate on one's behalf is the greatest door opener that one can possess. There is no telling what connection down the road one might have with previous coworkers, bosses, employers etc, so ensuring that all relationships are well is important. One might meet another individual as internship A in college and they may work under that individual post-college in job B. Another situation may be that coworker from internship A has connections in the field that interests the other person and is able to get them at least an interview if not a job at company B.
Internships are very beneficial to young adults and college students. Internships give experience, allow for hands-on application, and connectivity that could potentially aid in future career paths. Have you ever had an internship, how many? Will you consider getting one now if you have not had one, or will you consider getting another one if you have?