The job market is becoming more and more competitive, with even entry level jobs requiring previous work experience. So doing part-time internships has become quite the norm among undergrad students. Be it for adding an edge to your CV, or for skill development, all kinds of internships are available and you only need to look for it.
Of late, apprenticeships have come up to the fore besides internships to provide students a more hands-on experience to prepare them for their future job. I'll help you weigh the features and benefits offered by both of these platforms as they work in different ways.
What are they?
Internships are short term, temporary work experiences offered by public and private organisations. They offer on-the-job experience of working in a particular role in a specific sector, under a direct supervisor or line manager. Many internships do not offer a lot of in-depth work experience but rather, generic and surface level ones such as managing and planning tasks, sorting papers, making presentations, being an assistant to the boss etc. But these do help you gain a lot of insights that boost your long term career prospects. It is more educational, rather than being a training role.
An apprenticeship program on the other hand, is a formal employment platform that provides training for a specific job. By making employees sign a contract with the company, these programs usually recruit those who already know which career they are going to settle for. Like internships, apprenticeships help to learn specific skills during the length of the program, by the end of which, the apprentice gains all formal qualifications required to work in their chosen field. It usually begins with an orientation and induction training, and moves on to a mix of on-the-job training, and formal classroom-based learning.
How long do they take to complete?
Typically lasting for a few weeks to mostly 3 months (sometimes more), internships are done mostly by students for either a semester or a summer. Thereafter they move on, or get an extension on their contract.
An apprenticeship can take years to complete and requires a full-time commitment. These programs usually last from 1-6 years with targeted practical careers such as construction and manufacturing waiting at the end.
How does each pay?
An internship program may or may not be paid. In this sense, you might say that internships give you the chance to learn before you earn, as their focus is on showing you what it would be like to work in a specific work environment before you choose a career. At best, they offer college credits, small stipends, or something to add to your resume.
Unlike internships, apprenticeship trainings are always paid. This may be one of the reasons why apprenticeships are so competitive. Although you won't be banking six figures in the first year, you are definitely going to earn more than an intern.
What are the employment prospects?
Internships are more learning-focused, so these don't offer immediate or direct job placements. They do boost placement opportunities, and add relevant experience to your resume. In some cases, they can be used to expand your network of contacts.
On the contrary, for an apprentice, after successful completion of the program one receives a certificate of completion, and an almost guaranteed high paying job in the industry. This placement is almost certain, as the employer has already invested on the trainee and wouldn't want them to switch jobs.
Eshanee is a junior at IBA, DU. She watches travel videos and saves whatever money she has left after eating junk food for travelling. Send her good vibes at firstname.lastname@example.org.