Internships – Linking Education with Real World Experience


Are employers looking for educational prowess or experience? This is a debate that has been on-going since time in memorial and thankfully we are not getting into it today. However, we cannot deny that the two go hand in hand. Everyone will tell you that the key to getting a good job lays in first getting good grades, but what happens once you complete college and start looking for a job? This is where most graduates are caught off-guard as most employers are not just looking for the certificate, but experience as well. According to a survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Education and Marketplace, employers are more interested in what the student was involved in outside the classroom and this therefore highlights the importance of internships. Internships actually play a crucial role in recruitment of employees and are valued more the college the student attended, their major or even grade point average. Hard as it is to believe, it’s true.

Combining Education and Experience

According to yet another survey carried out by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 63 percent of students who took paid internships while still in college received job offers even before they graduated. This is contrary to the 40 percent who took up no form of internship. This therefore indicates that employers are relating internships to real work experience.

Internships are a great way to gain work experience and even work to give students connections they can use to gain employment before graduating. The job market may be improving but the fact of the matter remains that even graduates are having a hard time landing good jobs. Employers also do not want to keep training new employees, as this is expensive for them and wastes a lot of time. This is why they are looking for graduates who have at least some hands-on experience in their professions. Internships are also one of the best ways to land entry level jobs in the organization you worked for as an intern. This is because you already know the ropes of the job and will require minimum training or supervision. That said; you need to be outstanding for the organization to recognize you as an asset.

Why Internships Are Considered Work Experience

It doesn’t matter whether the internship was paid or unpaid or even voluntary, what matters is that you got the chance to earn some hands-on skills. Internship experience shows that the graduate has had the chance to apply their knowledge and skills in practical settings. Internships should therefore be considered as your first step to getting into a particular industry or profession. These are basically short-term work opportunities and it’s important that college students start pursuing them earlier in their education. It doesn’t matter whether you are in your first year or third year at college, start applying for internships and volunteer programs.

There are various ways to gain internship experience, and the good news is that many colleges are now realizing their importance and creating paid work opportunities in campuses.

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September 5, 2013 by

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