Apprenticeships, Internships, and Externships all give hands on training and experience. However, each one has its own learning opportunity and unique benefits.
Almost all apprenticeship schools guarantee you a high paying job once you successfully complete their program. Entry into an apprenticeship program is generally very competitive and have a lengthy application process. Some apprenticeship programs require a physical and drug screening. They tend to be offered for skilled technical jobs, such as; engineering, construction, carpentry, marketing, STEM, STEAM, plumbing, electrical, chef, hair dressers, computer science, and telecommunications. Apprenticeships require a longer commitment usually a year or two. Many apprenticeships allow the students to earn a wage while in the program for both their class time and on the job training. Students also gain valuable resume building opportunities. Apprenticeships also are directly tied to paid employment after completion. The benefit is that you receive real on the job training in the profession you will eventually work in. While in an apprenticeship program, students train under someone skilled within their trade.
Most colleges expect their students to complete some type of internship prior to graduation. Internship programs are generally easier to find due to the increased number of opportunities. Many colleges and universities assist their students to find an opportunity. Internships typically provide generalized learning opportunities. The time commitment for an internship is generally a semester or summer time frame. They also do not require a class learning component. Internships typically do not provide a salary. There are very few paid internships. Sometimes students can receive a small stipend (rarely). Often internships give you college credit, experience, and resume building opportunities. You can typically find internships within accounting, marketing, human services, and education career fields. Many internships afford a student an opportunity to bridge their student life to their professional career.
Externships are resume building experiences. Students do not receive college credit for their time. Externships are very similar to job shadowing. Students are working directly within the workplace however there are not direct delegated projects or assignments. They allow you to follow and work with a professional to gain experience and knowledge. Externships allow you to explore your interests and curiosities. One of the biggest tools to find an externship opportunity would be professional networking. Externships are unpaid employment experience. The commitment can vary from a day to a few weeks. During an externship, students should remember these should be treated as any professional opportunity. You never know what it could lead to for your future.
Helpful Resources for Apprenticeships, Internships, and Externships:
The Apprentice School
Department of Labor
Newport News Shipbuilding
Registered Apprenticeship Programs
Virginia Ship Repair Association
Virginia Department of Transportation
If you have questions or would like help finding an apprenticeship, internship, or externship, please contact your PDCCC High School Career Coach!