Are Internships Necessary For Computer Science Students?

One of the first questions I had, when I was a student, was “are internships necessary for computer science majors?” Internships offer a unique opportunity for computer science majors to gain valuable exposure and experience in their field of study that can be used to further their careers.

As the demand for tech-savvy workers grows, so too does the need for students to gain real-world experience outside of the classroom. In this blog post, we will explore whether internships are necessary as well as why internships are so important for computer science majors.

Are Internships Necessary For Computer Science Majors?

Internships are not necessary for Computer Science majors in the United States. However, they are essential if you want to accelerate your career after graduation. Computer Science internships look great on a resume, leading to a greater chance at a full-time position with higher pay.

There are many other benefits to having a Computer Science internship as well. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits so you can have a better understanding of why an internship is a great way to spend your summer.

Computer Science Internships Are A Great Learning Experience

Internships also give computer science majors a chance to network with professionals in their industry—something which may not be available within an academic setting alone.

Networking can open doors that may not have been available before due to a lack of connections or knowledge about specific industries or companies. 

Interns also get direct exposure from employers that may lead directly to future job offers or even recommendation letters from supervisors at those companies—allowing them access to top positions after college graduation.

C.S. Internships Can Lead To Full-Time Opportunities

Another one of the main reasons why internships are so important is because they provide students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. 

Many employers view interns as potential candidates when it comes time to hire full-time employees, meaning internships can lead to job offers down the line.

By taking on an internship while still enrolled in school, students have a chance to learn more about programming languages, software development methods, and other IT skills that will help them stand out in a competitive job market after graduation.

You Earn While You Learn

Most Computer Science internships are paid. Some even pay a lot. Personally, during my C.S. internship, I started earning $15 per hour but was quickly raised to $20 per hour.

Granted, I started earning a lot more after I graduated, but it was still nice to make money while gaining valuable experience and learning new technologies.

With that said, if you can land an internship at a top tech company, you’ll probably earn between $50 - $60 per hour. However, the national average for C.S. interns stands at about $33 per hour.

An Internship Will Lead To Higher Pay

Computer Science graduates with at least one internship under their belt will earn 6% more in their first full-time position, as opposed to those without an internship.

This may not seem like much, but compounded over an entire career, it can actually make a huge difference in your earning potential. Not to mention, many graduates will earn much more than 6% of what their peers will make if their internship leads to an offer from a big tech company.

There Are Valuable Insights To Be Gained

Finally, internships offer invaluable insight into what kind of career paths are available for those pursuing a degree in computer science. 

During an internship, students get the opportunity to experience different types of projects and learn more about what specific fields they might want to focus on after graduating college. 

Additionally, many organizations offer mentorship programs where interns can receive advice from experienced professionals who have already been through similar experiences — something which is invaluable when it comes time to make decisions regarding future career goals post-graduation.

Is It Okay Not To Do An Internship?

It’s okay not to do an internship. However, if you have the choice, I would spend the time doing an internship. There are so many benefits for your career and for your personal growth.

But if you don’t land an internship, it’s not the end of the world. I didn’t land an internship until my junior year, so the year before, I created my own internship. I spent the summer creating a project that helped me land an internship the following summer.


In conclusion, internships are not necessary for any student majoring in Computer Science. However, they are very beneficial and should be taken seriously as part of their college journey if they want successful long-term career prospects post-graduation. 

Through real-world exposure during an internship, students build essential skill sets needed by employers. Additionally, they will create connections within their industry, and get exposed directly to potential employers who may later become reliable contacts post-graduation.