The Difference Between Internship and Externship

Developing your experience is one of the best ways to position yourself for jobs after graduating from college or for a career change. Your chances of securing a position increase with more experience you have.

Thus, having internship or externship experience is very important. Internships and externships offer the opportunity to improve the skills you have, discover new careers, and test the waters for roles you may want to avoid in the future. It will help you get the professional work experience you’ll later add to your resume when job searching.

Advantages of Having Internship or Externship Experience

Internship experience helps you look for the right jobs, secure a job offer, and understand what a good fit looks like for you. Even if you didn’t have a fantastic internship or externship, it’ll pinpoint what to avoid in a full-time job.

Based on the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) results, when recruiters have two equally qualified candidates, the candidate with internship experience is often the person that gets hired.

According to NACE’s 2020 Internship & Co-op Survey Report, the job offer rate for candidates with internship experience was 68%. They stayed with the company longer, compared to candidates with no related experience.

The one-year job retention rate for candidates with internship experience is 68.7%. Those with external internship experience are 55%, while for candidates without previous experience is 40.3%.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a short-term professional program that allows students and graduates to put their knowledge and skills into practice. An intern is an apprentice who carries out this practice to gain field experience. College internship programs, career services offices, or high school guidance counselors arrange internships but most of the responsibility falls on the prospective intern.

After the arrangement is settled, students or graduates get their placements during the college semester or school breaks into specific roles hopefully related to what they want to do in their careers. Interns get college credits for interning, and internships can be part-time or full-time. Increasingly, companies get pressure to pay interns for their work or at least offer school credits. It may be easier to find a paid internship with large corporations that have a budget allocated for paid interns. Smaller companies or startups may not have the money to pay a market rate for an intern so they offer other things like stipends for commuting and lunch. StackCache encourages all our readers looking for internships to try and negotiate or seek internships that pay a fair wage for your time.

Internships can be on-site, nearby, or remote, and it depends on the organization if they are going to pay their interns or not. However, the U.S. Department of Labor has established criteria that indicate when an intern becomes an employee and must get paid.

What does an Externship Mean?

An externship is an unpaid short-term training program arranged by an educational institution (college). A company’s employers partner together to enable students to gain practical experiences in their fields of study and learn how the company operates. But some graduate programs offer longer-term full-term internships, such as the law schools. Just like an internship, students can also set up their externship programs directly.

Facts about Short-Term Externships

Short-term externships offer students and fresh graduates the opportunity to survey a workplace or profession in a short period, ranging from a day to a couple of weeks.  Participants can make an overview of a workplace by conducting informal interviews with the workers and organizing meetings.

A short-term externship is similar to a job shadowing program. Candidates spend 1-2 days with an expert to learn more about a career field and a job. Externships expose candidates to a variety of workplaces so that they can explore their career interests and professions.

Facts about Graduate Externships

School programs offer graduates externships opportunities where they can gain real-world work experience to complement their education. Like internships, graduate externships are usually credit-earning, longer-term. Still, they can be paid or unpaid, part-term or full-term.

What is the Difference Between Internships and Externships?

The purpose of setting up internship and externship programs is to offer candidates the opportunity of career networking, on-the-job training, and resume-building experience.

But looking at both the duration and scope of the programs, there are some noticeable differences:

In internships, participants gain skills and experience and work with a team. In externships, participants get an overview of a career and a workplace.

The duration for internship programs is long-term (during summer break or college semester), while it’s short-term (days or weeks) experience for externships.

Participants are likely to get paid and earn credits for their internships, while externship programs are not for credit-earning and usually unpaid.

Looking for Positions? Here’s How

Search With Your College

Suppose you are a fresh graduate or college student. In that case, the best place to look for formal internship and externship programs is your college. From your college, you’ll have access to connect with alumni to find an opportunity that meets your career of interests and find lists of paid and unpaid positions.

Search Online

  • There are many positions you can find online:
  • Check Handshakes, a job site that networks students with employers posting internships, externships, co-ops, and full-time positions. To get started, you’ll need a .edu email address.
  • Go to your LinkedIn, enter “internship” or “externship” in the search box, and check for the position that matches your career interest.
  • On the top job sites enter “internship” and “externship,” you’ll find position listings.
  • Search through the best entry-level job sites for internship and externship postings, where graduates can also find full-time positions.

Use Your Network

Tapping into your network to find positions also helps. For example, you can request access to connect with alumni in your career field of interest if your school has an alumni career networking database. You can also tap into your college LinkedIn and social media groups to network with alumni. They are willing to help participants from their alma mater.

How to Make Your Experience Listing on Your Resume

Your internship or externship experience shows the real-world and workplace skills you have.  You must include them in your resume for employers to believe what you’ve got.

Some valuable assets will help you stand out as candidates even if you’re not job-searching. However, including these experiences you have in your resume is the best way of keeping records of your achievements.

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