Are Internships Worth It? Pros and Cons You Need to Know in 2024

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Taking an internship is a good opportunity to test your knowledge and skills. Students can try to work in industries that interest them most and get practical skills. Such an experience brings many advantages, including networking and better employment opportunities. However, you should also be ready for some disadvantages that may come on your way. We will help you to figure out what to expect from internships in the long run.

Pros of Internships

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Practical Experience

No matter how hard you study, you get only theoretical knowledge when employers tend to hire people with real first-hand experience. An internship allows you to get some. Even though it is not the actual job, the successful completion demonstrates that you are a reliable and capable worker. Besides, as interns put their theoretical knowledge into practice, they exercise skills and become more competent.

Specialty Choice

Selecting a college major and electives is not always a conscious decision. Some students doubt their choice even after several years of studies. Nothing can help you to make up your mind better than trying the job in practice. Consider internship as a chance of career orientation from within because you get responsibilities and tasks from different departments of the company. Thus, you can make a final decision about the position you want to occupy in the chosen industry.

Increase in Hiring Potential

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As you get experience, you become more and more professional. This gives you better chances to be successfully employed. Having a fruitful internship practice is a strong point that you can use in your CV. You become suitable for a wider range of jobs than before as about 50% of all employment offers require you to have prior work experience. In addition, the fact that you are ready to take an internship, even in spite of low financial rewards, shows that you are dedicated to the profession and focused on building your skills.

Time for Networking

An internship allows you to work with people from different departments. As a result, you get acquainted with a large number of people and build your first professional network. These contacts can help you to get the actual job in the future if you demonstrate that you have potential. You can also get references from them to enhance your hiring potential even more. Knowing the right people can increase your chances of success in the industry. Just remember: no matter how hard you want to impress someone, be authentic and honest. This will break the ice.

Potential Job Offer

A lot of students want to become interns as they hope to get a job at the company. Indeed, organizations often offer employment to bright and talented interns if they demonstrate eminent performance. In most cases, they prefer to hire them instead of other applicants for the position because interns get working experience at their company and know all the details about the working process. This means that the organization does not need to spend any extra time and resources on training a new employee. Therefore, do your best to complete the delegated tasks as it may get you a job you have always dreamt about.

Cons of Internships

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Low Financial Potential

The most evident disadvantage is that you get almost no financial advantages from being an intern. Companies either pay low salaries or do not pay at all. Both options are rather unfavorable for interns as they invest a lot of their time and energy into such working opportunities. Yet, they do not get much in return. Some young people cannot afford to work for free because they have to earn their living. This leaves them without a chance to get hands-on experience. Fortunately, this tendency is decreasing, and companies are willing to pay for good work. In the US, interns get an average of $14 per hour. As a result, they earn about $600 per week. It is up to you to decide whether it is a sufficient price for your time.

Intense Competition

To get all the benefits that internships can offer, you should carefully choose a suitable program and be ready to stand the competition as places in reputable organizations are usually limited. To get into the desired company, you may be required to write an application letter. It must clearly express your interest in the company and show how you can be useful for them. Many students refer with this aim to writing services, such as Professional writers can help you to build your image in an effective way. It is of primary importance in the circumstances of tough competition.

No Sense of Fulfillment

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We cannot say that it is a rule, but sometimes internships may turn useless. Irresponsible companies do not provide enough opportunities for young people to learn and grow as professionals. What is more, experienced employees may not consider them as equal members of their team. Such an atmosphere is unlikely to bring you any joy or satisfaction from work.

Besides, interns get boring and low-skill tasks like organizing archives and copying documents. A large volume of such assignments does not allow you to explore the chosen career or focus on important things. Employers simply neglect the whole purpose of internships and make interns do menial tasks that no one else wants to complete. Considering that such internships are often unpaid, they turn into a waste of time. Paid internships are usually more rewarding as organizations will not spend money unless they need your services. Therefore, you can expect to get more valuable tasks and, as a result, knowledge.

To Sum Up

All things considered, internships seem like a good way to get experience and improve your soft skills. Besides, interns get a chance to build a wide professional network and get potential job offers. Yet, you need to choose the program carefully not to get into companies where employers do not take internship programs seriously and thus do not provide any opportunities to learn.