Are Internships Still Relevant for College Students?
In recent years, the economy has changed, demanding the workforce to adapt. New talents, skills, and experiences are needed in order to be a part of the growth cycle. It makes the job market even more competitive than it used to be.
So, if you’re a recent college graduate or a student who is about to go out into the real world, chances are your college diploma, impeccable CV, and impressive portfolio might not be enough to get you a job offer. After all, most companies put a lot of weight on the importance of applied learning and internship experiences.
College graduates will have a better chance of landing the job of their dreams if they have demonstrable internship experience, a top criterion for many recruiters. In fact, 50% of internships result in full-time job offers.
So, why is an internship such a valuable qualification for many jobs?
Let’s delve deeper and try to find out what an internship can do for your professional development.
Provides Hands-on Experience
The most common reason for pursuing internships is to gain hands-on experience. Classroom learning and theories are all good until you are out in the real world and faced with the challenge of applying what you learned. Internships give you the opportunity to experience firsthand the work environments and real-world applications of your classroom learning. It gives you ample insights into how your field works and how you can apply your skills in the workforce.
This way, you will be able to explore your choices for the best career path and specializations that will suit your own interests.
Increases Your Marketability
Having gained a wealth of experience outside the classroom environment, you will have an edge over your peers. It helps you prepare for the real world when it is time for you to join the workforce.
Through internships, you will be able to gain perspectives and knowledge on your future career. You also get the opportunity to interact with your colleagues and management team, expanding your social horizons and allowing you to build a network of contacts that can serve as your professional references.
Recruiters give a lot of value to an internship experience, thereby boosting your marketability. It is like an extended test-drive that lets you and your future employer know which position would be a good fit for your skills, abilities, and interests.
Builds a Network of Connections
As mentioned before, an internship is a great way to hone your social skills and teamwork. It is also an excellent opportunity for you to connect with other professionals from your field of interest. What’s more, an internship can serve as your bridge to future job opportunities and employment. Growing your personal links with people from your area of study allows you to get noticed by recruiters, win a referral, and even get your foot in the door for an interview.
Helps Weigh Your Career Path
It can be hard to decide what you should do while you are pursuing your degree and even harder when you are out of the comfort zone of your classroom. An internship can help you make up your mind about your future career decisions. While most interns aspire to enjoy their experience and walk away with all the learning and enjoyment, it is also quite possible for you to discover that the job is not to your liking.
In a way, an internship lets you know what you like and don’t like in terms of a future career path. Knowing this can help you avoid the pitfalls of entering an industry or field that you do not fully enjoy. It expands your options and helps you make wiser future decisions, especially for one as important as your lifelong career.
Internships are more relevant than ever. College students should carefully choose the best internship that will suit their field of study, interests, and future career goals. It is an experience that can impart lifelong skills and learning that you might not be able to gain in your classroom environment.