Land A Computer Science Internship In 5 Simple Steps

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Congratulations on considering an internship in Computer Science! Internships are a great way to gain practical experience and explore potential career paths. Here are some tips on how to secure a Computer Science internship.

What Do Computer Science Interns Do?

Computer Science interns typically work on projects that help them gain practical experience in the field and apply the skills and knowledge they have learned in their studies. 

This can involve working on software development projects, contributing to the design and implementation of computer systems, or conducting research in a particular area of Computer Science. 

Interns may also have the opportunity to work with and learn from experienced industry professionals, attend technical training sessions and workshops, and participate in team meetings and other activities.

How To Get A Computer Science Internship

To get a Computer Science internship, you need to build your skills. Programming is the most vital skill, but communication skills are also important. From there, you should craft a winning resume, and network with peers and professionals. Finally, apply to internships and prepare for interviews!

1. Build Your Skills

Before you start applying for internships, it's important to have a strong foundation in Computer Science. This means taking relevant coursework, practicing coding through online challenges and projects, and staying up to date with the latest technologies and trends.

There are several ways to build your skills in order to improve your chances of securing a computer science internship:

Take relevant coursework

Enrolling in Computer Science courses at your school or through an online platform is a great way to build your technical skills. This will not only help you learn new concepts but also give you the opportunity to work on projects and assignments that can be included in your resume.

Practice coding

In order to succeed in a Computer Science internship, you'll need to have strong coding skills. There are many online platforms that offer coding challenges and exercises to help you practice and improve your skills. Some popular options include HackerRank, CodeChef, and LeetCode.

If you’re looking for a great video-based course to learn the basics of data structures and algorithms, I highly recommend this course on Udemy. I took this course and it helped me become a much more efficient and effective programmer.

JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Masterclass

Participate in online hackathons

Hackathons are online or in-person events where students and professionals come together to work on projects and solve problems. Participating in hackathons can not only help you build your technical skills, but also give you the chance to work on a team and showcase your abilities to potential employers.

Work on personal projects

Developing your own projects is a great way to not only build your skills but also demonstrate your passion for Computer Science. Consider creating a website, app, or software program that showcases your abilities. It’s good to have a few projects under your belt, but having one or two more complex projects is even better than a large number of small projects.

Stay up to date with industry trends

Keeping up with the latest technologies and trends in the Computer Science field will not only make you a more competitive candidate but also help you stay engaged and motivated in your studies. Follow industry blogs, attend meetups and conferences, and consider subscribing to relevant online newsletters.

2. Network

Building connections in the Computer Science industry can be extremely valuable in your search for an internship. Attend industry events, join relevant online communities, and reach out to professionals in your field to expand your network.

LinkedIn is a great resource to connect with other professionals and students in the same boat as you. Also, various forums can be a great resource. If you happen to be learning on any platform that has a forum, you should use it.

As a matter of fact, I got my first Computer Science internship by networking with other programmers as I was learning on Team Treehouse. I shared my Computer Science blog and it caught the attention of someone who had just moved to Chicago to head the marketing and e-commerce department for a construction company. I started a few weeks later.

3. Tailor Your Resume And Cover Letter

When applying for internships, it's important to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific company and position you are applying for. Highlight your relevant skills and experiences, and be sure to mention any projects or achievements that showcase your passion for computer science.

It’s also a good idea to focus primarily on a particular type of internship to go after. Otherwise, you’ll end up making dozens of different specialized resumes and being a jack-of-all-trades, rather than a master of a few important skills. For instance, either go for front-end internships or back-end internships.

4. Apply To As Many Places As Possible

Although I think it’s a good idea to specialize, you shouldn’t be afraid to cast a wide net in your search for an internship. Apply to a variety of companies, both big and small, and consider internships in different locations. The more applications you send out, the greater your chances of finding the right fit.

Additionally, it helps immensely to apply as early as possible. As soon as an internship is posted, you should apply for it. Otherwise, the position might be filled before you have a chance to be considered. 

Most internships are available in the summer and companies begin to accept applications the fall before. However, other internships come available on a rolling basis, so you should always be on the lookout.

5. Prepare For The Interview

Once you've landed an interview, it's important to prepare for common interview questions. Be ready to discuss your technical skills and experiences, as well as your motivations for pursuing a career in computer science. Practice with a friend or mentor to boost your confidence.

Here are some more detailed tips on how to prepare for a Computer Science internship interview. By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared and confident going into your Computer Science internship interview.

Review the job description

Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities and requirements of the position you are applying for. This will help you understand what the company is looking for and allow you to tailor your responses to the specific role.

Practice technical questions

Many computer science internship interviews will include technical questions designed to test your knowledge and problem-solving abilities. Practice answering questions on algorithms, data structures, and other technical concepts beforehand to boost your confidence.

Prepare for behavioral questions

In addition to technical questions, you may also be asked behavioral questions during your interview. These are designed to assess your fit for the company and the role. Prepare responses to common behavioral questions such as "Tell me about a time when you faced a challenge" or "How do you handle working in a team?"

Research the company

Showing a genuine interest in the company you are applying to can go a long way in impressing your interviewer. Research the company's products, services, and mission beforehand, and be ready to discuss how you align with their values and goals.

Practice with a friend or mentor

Practice makes perfect! Consider role-playing an interview with a friend or mentor to get a feel for the format and to receive constructive feedback.

Why Is It Important To Get A Computer Science Internship?

There are several reasons why getting a computer science internship can be beneficial.

  • Gaining practical experience: An internship can provide an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real-world projects.
  • Networking: Internships can provide the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in the field, which can be helpful in building a professional network.
  • Exploring career options: An internship can be a way to explore different career paths within computer science and determine what type of work you might be interested in doing after graduation.
  • Improving your resume: Having internship experience can make your resume more competitive and increase your chances of getting a job after graduation.
  • Earning money: Many internships are paid, so you can earn money while gaining valuable experience.
  • Overall, an internship can be a great way to get your foot in the door and start building your career in computer science.

    Is It Hard To Get A Computer Science Internship?

    It can be competitive to get a computer science internship, especially at well-known companies or organizations. However, there are many opportunities available, and the availability of internships can vary depending on your location, your level of education and experience, and the specific field of computer science you are interested in. 

    Some factors that may increase your chances of getting an internship include having strong grades, being involved in relevant extracurricular activities or projects, and having relevant coursework or programming experience. 

    It can also be helpful to apply to a range of internships and to be proactive in seeking out opportunities. Networking with professionals in the field and getting recommendations from professors or others in your network can also be helpful.


    Computer Science internships are sometimes difficult to obtain. However, they’re very important when it comes to improving your resume and gaining valuable experience in the field. You’ll have a chance to explore various career opportunities and probably make some money while doing it.

    By following the steps listed above, you'll be well on your way to securing a Computer Science internship. Good luck with your search!