Before entering professional life, integration of theoretical concepts and practical work experience is highly desirable. Internships and externships are ways of acquiring skills and relevant work experience in a specific field of study. They are both experimental learning opportunities and are equally important. There are subtle differences between the two methods of training.
Internships vs Externships Explained
An internship can be called as an on-the-job training for professional careers. They are analogous to apprenticeships for trade jobs. The minimum duration of internships is 3 months and onwards. They last for at least a school term. An externship on the other hand offers job shadowing experience to an individual within a company or workplace a student has interest in pursuing his/her career. Externships are held for a short period of time. They may last for a day to a maximum duration of eight weeks.
Other Differences between Internships and Externships
An internship is often a paid opportunity. Most of these programs give a small stipend to the intern while some companies offer respectable salaries. A few internship programs are even unpaid. Paid internships are usually offered in the fields of medicine, architecture, engineering, law, business, technology, and advertising. Government and non-profit organizations offer unpaid internships. On the contrary, externships are usually not paid. Externs are not offered any stipends for their experience as it will just require the extern to perform a shadow role in the working environment of the externship rather than giving them the chance to get a more pro-active knowledge of the field.
Internships usually conclude with the reward of academic credit. Internships are more intensive and provide the intern with a firsthand experience with practical work in the major subject. Externships are less extensive than internships and do not give academic credit. This is considered as the only disadvantage of an externship program.
An internship is the bridge between student life and professional life. The intern also work under supervisors, but is expected to exhibit professional attitude and skills. Externs are often students at an earlier stage of their study program. The externship activities are highly supervised and involve less skilled activities. It provides an opportunity for students to observe and ask questions and is meant to explore interests and curiosities.
Internships are rated as a top factor in evaluating recent graduates for employment by the employers. They make your resume standout. Externships are considered for personal grooming. They do not possess much weight on curriculum vitae.
Companies post internships on their websites or on job seeking forums. They follow a proper advertisement, application and selection process and are usually highly competitive. Networking, on the other hand, is the key to getting an externship. Appreciable time should be spent on making the most of free networking tools available like LinkedIn. Many schools invite guest speakers who may help you land your next externship.
To sum up, the worth of both externships and internships is equally high. They are extremely advantageous for a student of any major. With proper time management, the students can make the most of these beneficial methods.
Other Helpful Information
For other general information about internships, please check out the following pages:
What is an Internship?
Internship Interview Questions
Internship Tips for Applying
A great place to begin the internship search is with Indeed.com.