How Soon You Should Get A Computer Science Internship

One of the first things you should consider if you want a Computer Science internship is how soon you should pursue one. Should you get one your Freshman year, Sophomore year, or wait until Junior or Senior year? Maybe you should get one before you even enter University?

In this article, I’ll tell you all about the timing of landing a Computer Science internship which will set you up for success when applying and throughout your career.

What Year Do Computer Science Students Get Internships?

Computer Science students get internships as early as their Freshman year, often during summertime. However, it’s more common to get an internship during the Junior and Senior years of your Computer Science program. Some internships even require the student to be at least a Junior.

It’s best to start thinking about internships as soon as possible in your career because the experience looks great on your resume. If you’re able to get an internship in your freshman year (or even earlier), it will be that much easier to land another internship the following summer. 

Not to mention, those students who graduate with internship experience are paid on average 6% more after graduation than those with no internship experience.

What Month Do Most Internships Start?

Most internships last for 12 weeks beginning at the end of May not long after the Spring semester ends and typically last until August. However, start dates can vary depending on the company and the specific internship program. In fact, some internships take place in the winter months and can continue into the school year in some cases.

Can I Get A Computer Science Internship In High School?

Yes, you can get a Computer Science internship as early as high school. This is pretty rare but totally possible. In fact, if you know that you want to major in Computer Science while you’re still in high school, I recommend applying to internships in the summer of your Senior year. If you’re able to do so, you’ll enter college with real experience under your belt which will set you apart from your peers.

Many tech companies offer internships for students to gain hands-on experience in the field and develop their skills. It's a good idea to start by researching tech companies in your area or companies that interest you and see if they offer high school internships. You can also reach out to your school's career center or Computer Science teachers for guidance and networking opportunities.

Here are a few tech companies that offer Computer Science internships to high school students:

  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • Dropbox
  • Airbnb
  • Uber
  • LinkedIn
  • When Should I Start Applying For Computer Science Internships?

    It is recommended to start applying for Computer Science internships 6-9 months before the desired start date. This means that if an internship starts in May, you should be applying as early as August of the previous year.

    However, application deadlines and availability may vary, so it's always good to check with the companies and organizations of interest. Start early and be proactive to increase your chances of securing an internship.

    Applying for internships early, 6-9 months in advance, allows you more time to prepare and gives you the opportunity to apply to multiple companies or organizations. This increases your chances of securing an internship that is a good fit for you and your career goals.

    Additionally, many popular tech companies have a limited number of internships available and receive a high volume of applications, so applying early can give you an advantage.

    It's important to research the company or organization, tailor your application to the position, and reach out to your network for recommendations or referrals. Preparation and persistence can lead to a successful internship experience.

    Tips To Make You Stand Out

    When applying for Computer Science internships, it can be pretty competitive. Less than 10% of C.S. students will get an internship in any given year. Therefore, it’s important to do everything you can to stand out from the crowd in order to increase your chances of landing the internship.

    Here are some tips to stand out as a candidate for a Computer Science internship:

  • Show passion and interest in the company or organization and its work.
  • Highlight relevant projects or experiences in your resume and cover letter.
  • Network and reach out to current or former employees for insights or referrals.
  • Have strong technical skills and be familiar with the latest technologies and trends in the industry.
  • Demonstrate your ability to work well in a team, good communication skills, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Be proactive, take initiative, and be eager to learn and contribute to the company.
  • Be prepared for technical questions and have a portfolio of your work to show during the interview.
  • By showcasing your skills and experiences, and demonstrating your enthusiasm for the role and the company, you can increase your chances of standing out as a candidate for a Computer Science internship.

    Final Thoughts

    It's recommended to pursue a Computer Science internship during your undergraduate studies or post-graduation, as this can provide valuable industry experience and help you build your professional network. However, you can even get an internship as early as high school. The specific timing may depend on your academic schedule and career goals.

    For students, internships can be pursued during the summer break or as a part-time opportunity during the academic year. Pursuing an internship during your studies can help you apply the concepts you learn in class to real-world projects and gain hands-on experience.

    For recent graduates or those seeking a career change, internships can serve as an entry point into the tech industry and help you gain practical experience in the field.

    Ultimately, the best time to pursue a computer science internship is when it fits with your academic and career goals and you are able to fully commit to the opportunity. With that said, Computer Science internships are fun, and exciting, and look great on your resume. Good luck with your search!