When I first heard that some of my peers were getting summer internships I wanted to know why Computer Science internships are important. I initially thought that the standard was to just put in your four years, get your degree, get a job, and that’s that.
However, I quickly learned that’s not the best strategy. If you ignore the importance of internships, you might be really disappointed by the time you graduate.
Computer Science internships are important because they offer real-world industry experience. Additionally, Computer Science students who graduate with at least one internship receive a 6% higher salary on average than those with no internship experience.
There are so many benefits to landing a C.S. internship. The most important of which is that you get real-world experience while you’re still in school.
Yet, the benefits don’t end there. Far from it. I’ve identified 5 benefits of internships as a Computer Science student. However, I’m sure there are more. If you’ve found additional benefits, feel free to reach out and I’ll be happy to add it to this list.
The most important reason to get an internship is that it offers industry experience. This additional experience looks great on your resume for the next internship you pursue or for your first full-time position after graduation.
Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get a sneak preview of what your first job might be like. Not to mention you’ll have a chance to learn new skills and work on some pretty cool technology.
In addition to the income made during the internship, you’ll also make more money after graduation. On average, those with at least one undergrad internship earn 6% more in their first full-time role after school.
Another reason why Computer Science internships are important is that you’ll have better prospects for other roles.
Not only will it be easier to get your next internship, but you’ll be much more qualified for a full-time position after graduation. You’ll be much more likely to get a job that you really want without having to settle.
The last reason why Computer Science internships are important is for the connections you’ll make. Don’t underestimate how valuable this can be.
I made an excellent connection during my first internship. It was actually my boss at the time who ended up becoming my good friend. He pushed for me to get a full-time offer at the company we worked at and has helped me numerously in my career.
Although there are many great benefits to having a Computer Science internship, there are also some drawbacks. In my opinion, the benefits greatly outweigh the drawbacks.
However, I don’t think it would be sincere to talk only of the good when some bad exists. The reality is that there are some drawbacks. And if you haven’t already considered them, you’ll now be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not an internship is right for you.
1. Your Summer Will Be Busy
If you spend your summer in an internship, you won’t have time for much else. Sure, you’ll have your evenings and your weekends, but that’s it.
Maybe you would prefer to travel or spend more time with friends. However, you won’t have much time for that. Although, if you do take an internship, you’ll likely have money to spend during the time that you’ll have to spend.
2. C.S. Internships Can Be Stressful
My internship was pretty laid back but I had to travel into the city and the commute wasn’t fun. However, I didn’t intern at a top tech company. In fact, I interned as a marketer/developer at a construction company.
Yet, I know of people who have interned at top tech companies. Sure, it’s a great learning experience and the pay is life-changing. But it can be really stressful. At the very least, these high-level Computer Science internships will be very challenging.
The responsibilities of a C.S. intern can vary greatly. It really depends on the company you work at and the type of internship you get.
For instance, I was an E-Commerce and Marketing intern at a construction company. I helped develop their main E-Commerce site and optimize it for search engines, otherwise known as SEO. I also redesigned one of their existing sites for a more modern UI/UX.
A friend of mine, Derron, interned at FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) as a Business Analyst. He was responsible for analyzing data and presenting reports based on the information gathered. Derron impressively discovered optimizations that would save FCA up to $300,000 per day in some circumstances!
Other Computer Science internships are focused on other things such as software development, computer networking, machine learning, and so much more. One responsibility that all of these positions have in common is communication.
I know it’s not the most glamorous skill to obtain as a C.S. student, but don’t scoff at the opportunity to build your communication skills. The next time your professor requires you to give a presentation, embrace it and really do your best.
There are many reasons why Computer Science internships are important. You gain valuable experience, you can earn some summer cash, you’ll make more when you graduate, you’ll have more career options, and you’ll make great connections.
I’m sure there are even more benefits beyond these. However, there are also potential drawbacks such as added stress of the internship and limited time to do other things you might enjoy with your summer.
All in all, I think the benefits of Computer Science internships greatly outweigh the drawbacks. C.S. internships are very important for your career and for your bank account.
If you want to know how to get an internship, check out these 10 tips. Otherwise, thanks for reading, and good luck!
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