An internship is a temporary position or opportunity for someone to gain on-the-job experience in a specific area of study while learning the skills needed to obtain employment. However, a common misconception about internships is that only college students can get them. But, that’s not true; internships are available to people of all academic levels. They can be an excellent way to gain exposure to the different fields you’re interested in, even if you don’t have a formal degree in that particular subject.
This year, more employers are shifting their focus from hiring young people straight out of college to hiring more experienced workers. Employers are looking for workers who are not only trained but also have real-life experience and leadership under their belt. As a result, adult internships are becoming an increasingly popular choice.
Adult internships can be a great way to work during and between college semesters. But what are they, exactly? It is a work opportunity that allows you to earn college credit while studying. Although some internships are educational, most are paid, and some even offer benefits like a housing stipend, paid vacation, or healthcare, among others.
Benefits of an Adult Internship for an Employee and Employer
- Stand to Gain Extra Help. For employers, an internship, even unpaid, is a great way to get a little extra help when they are busy and strapped for time. However, there are additional benefits for them, other than just getting an extra set of hands.
For employees, even if they work full time, volunteering their services with an organization or non-profit for a few hours each week can help them learn new skills and get their foot in the door.
- Growing Your Network. An internship is an opportunity for a student to work closely with a working professional to gain experience. They can link students to potential employers, and help hone their future career skills.
- Dedicated to Learning New Craft. The job market is tight, especially for college graduates. Businesses need skilled employees but find that the pool of available talent is limited. One-way companies meet this need is by hiring interns. Young talent can learn new skills from experienced professionals, gain experience in their field, and prove to be an asset to the organization they become part of.
- It Could Lead to a Permanent Position. An internship can be a great way to further your career and for those who would prefer an opportunity to gain skills in a role that will eventually lead to a permanent position. It provides the employer with exposure to new employees and an opportunity for the employee to prove their skills and abilities.
- May Put You Ahead of Younger Candidates. We all strive to do our jobs to the best of our abilities, and while this can mean getting just a little bit of extra sleep and putting in a few more hours of hard work, sometimes we need to take a step back. Sure, it’s healthy to work hard, but sometimes we can benefit from a little rest. And that’s where an internship comes into play. An intern is a lower-paid individual who is considered an apprentice or trainee to help learn skills for their job. They are given tasks that are beyond their capabilities in order to learn them. Internships help both the intern and the company. The intern learns valuable skills that can help them in the future, and the company has someone to help take on more responsibility.
- Better Exposure. Internships give college students the opportunity to gain real-world experience. They build the foundation for a successful career. They provide exposure to a career field, along with providing valuable work experience and instruction.
- Join an Association and Network. As an intern, you benefit from gaining experience in your field while also learning about other employers, colleagues, and mentors.
For employers, the internship allows them access to the talent they may not otherwise have while allowing interns to get a feel for the company, its people, and the organization’s culture.
- Know Ahead of Time What You’d Like to Get Out Of It. Contrary to popular belief, adults can receive college credits for internships. By receiving college credit from an internship, students and working adults are able to save money on tuition, and employers can hire more qualified employees in a shorter amount of time. Internships are beneficial to employers since they allow students to gain real-life work experience in their chosen field. Students benefit by gaining practical knowledge and workplace skills that will help them succeed in their fields.
From the point of view of a student, an internship is any time spent working, studying, or volunteering in a professional setting. When adults refer to internships, they typically mean a job or voluntary position in which they gain experience in a specific field. Some internships are temporary, but others last a year or more and may have built-in pay. Many internships turn into job offers, as employers take notice and recognize the experience gained. Generally, a good internship provides an educational component and experiential learning, allowing students to put their classroom knowledge into practice.