By University of Phoenix
Taking an internship has many significant benefits, such as boosting your resumé, testing the waters of new career opportunities and demonstrating skills to potential employers. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, graduates from the class of 2019 who had an internship under their belt were more likely to receive a job offer from the organization where they interned — 53.2% to be exact.
As evidenced by this survey, internship positions can be valuable to people who are entering the workforce, trying to gain professional experience or switching careers. The field of technology is one where constantly building new skills and learning more about a given company’s protocols and processes are particularly useful — and this is something internships can certainly help with.
Prepare for an IT career — and have the freedom to learn when you want online, 24/7/365.
While earning an internship can sometimes be difficult, you can increase your chances of success in a variety of ways. It can be effective to keep an eye on interesting companies in your field, for example, and build relevant social connections related to your industry. You can also explore the following options.
Just as with full-time paid positions, you can find internships on online job boards or other platforms where businesses post opportunities. There are many highly trafficked, generalized job boards, such as Glassdoor and Indeed, where you can narrow down your search by type of position, location, company and salary.
Especially in the tech industry, you can find dedicated job boards, like Dice and Triplebyte, for IT-related positions. These platforms offer the added benefit of refined searches, so you don’t have to filter as many unrelated roles or companies.
It can be very useful to research companies in the professional niche that interests you and keep tabs on those you find most appealing. A valuable tool for doing so is the company’s website. Many companies will post career opportunities on their websites and may offer a newsletter you can subscribe to.
It’s also best to keep in mind that even if a company isn’t offering internships right now, things change. Keeping tabs on a given website is a good way to check in to see if that status has changed.
Most universities have career centers or other options for receiving counseling and input for your career prospects. You should be able to access these opportunities by referencing your university’s website or calling the administration office. Additionally, many universities hold career fairs where you may be able to find unique opportunities.
Some companies will go to these career centers as a way to meet potential interns or job applicants and learn more about whom to reach out to for applications.
The technology industry has many niches, and more are emerging as technology advances and companies in the industry innovate. As such, it is important to determine what niche or niches you are interested in before deciding which internships to pursue.
Computer science is a broad technology division related to subjects such as computational theory, programming, hardware and software design, and algorithm development. Many different career opportunities are under this umbrella, such as IT support, designers and developers, and systems architects.
An internship in computer science can be particularly valuable for anyone who is not entirely sure about their career path. General knowledge in the realm of computer science is highly applicable to many technology careers.
Professionals in the field of data science use various systems to strategically extract, analyze and apply data sets. The data sets can relate to a wide variety of subjects and can be used for many purposes. As such, data science professionals can offer their expertise in a number of industries outside of technology, such as marketing, finance and multiple research fields.
Professionals who work in information technology design and use software that collects, organizes and distributes information. Information systems comprise a wide variety of databases, networks and communication systems. This profession is highly valuable to many organizations that maintain websites, compile data or facilitate communications. Opportunities in information technology can be found in many industries, such as social media development and software engineering.
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Cybersecurity is a profession that involves developing, implementing and maintaining cybersecurity equipment and protocols as well as managing the response to cybersecurity breaches. Cybersecurity services are invaluable for virtually any company that stores or shares digital data, making this is a robust niche in the technology industry. Professionals interested in interning in the cybersecurity field may find opportunities at many types of organizations.
As the terms imply, a paid internship provides compensation while an unpaid internship does not, but the individual gains experience. Both are usually held on a temporary or probationary basis, depending on the terms of the contract.
Furthermore, the terms of compensation or lack thereof must be understood and agreed upon contractually by both the intern and the employer. Unpaid internships also have to adhere to several guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor. According to a Zippia report, paid internships are more common than unpaid internships, with 60.8% of internships paid and 39.2% unpaid.
Some schools offer credit hours in return for hours worked in qualifying internships. Typically, the internship offers credit hours equivalent to one class, but this varies depending on the school and the specific program. This option can expedite the process of gaining your tech degree, as well as provide hands-on experience before you officially enter the job market. Some schools and programs highly recommend finding internship opportunities, and others may even require it as a stipulation of graduation.
Whichever way you earn credit for your internship matters less in comparison to the long-term benefits. Even if you don’t receive a paid internship or credits from your university, you can easily use this experience in your professional life and on your resumé. Doing so will not only benefit your personal knowledge of current technology practices in the workplace, but you may also increase your chances of receiving a job offer.
Whether you’re seeking to gain a basic understanding of information technology or cybersecurity, or you’re a working professional looking to expand your skill set, University of Phoenix (UOPX) offers online course collections and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Learn more about undergraduate and graduate online technology degrees from UOPX and start your IT journey today!
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