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The Pros and Cons of Doing an Internship

An internship offers short-term work experience for anyone who is keen to gain real-life experience in a particular field. It's a great way to get started, however, you might have limited responsibilities. Let's explore internships in more detail.

The Pros and Cons of Doing an Internship


Tech Talent Engine


Whether you’re looking for a summer internship or paid work experience to gain contacts with key employers, internships are a great way to get started in your chosen field.

An internship offers short-term work experience for anyone who is keen to gain real-life experience in a particular field.

Below, we’ll explore the pros and cons of doing an internship and how to find employers that are hiring near you.


#1 – Skill development

The first advantage of doing an internship is the opportunity to develop and refine your skills.

For example, if you’re looking to get started as a programmer an internship is a great way to gain a basic understanding of this type of role, as well as learn from others around you.

Learning from textbooks only takes you so far; work experience is a great way to fast-track learning.

#2 – Networking opportunities

Learning isn’t the only benefit of an internship.

Networking is another great advantage, allowing you to interact with experienced professionals in your industry, forge valuable connections and gain insights into potential career paths.

These connections may lead to job offers, mentorships and valuable references down the line.

#3 – Improved CV

A well-executed internship can significantly boost your CV. Employers value relevant internship experience as it demonstrates a commitment to your chosen field and the practical application of your skills.

Given the level of competition in the tech industry, this can allow you to stand out and increase your chances of landing a desirable position.

If you can explain key lessons and technologies you’ve learned in your internship, this is even better for employers.

#4 – Real life experience

Internships offer a glimpse into the day-to-day realities of a particular job or industry. This firsthand experience can help you confirm whether a career path aligns with your interests and goals.

It could be that you’re interested in a digital marketing internship but you’re not sure if this sector is right for you. Taking part in an internship will allow you to oversee an average day in the sector, making decision-making a lot easier.

An internship also allows you to explore different roles and industries, providing clarity about your long-term career objectives.

#5 – Job offer potential

Many companies use internships as a recruitment strategy. If you show enthusiasm and a willingness to learn, there’s a chance you could receive a job offer upon completion.

Internships can be a direct pathway to full-time employment, saving you time and effort in the job hunt.

This provides an easy route into employment, proving to future employers how career-driven and motivated you are.


#1 – Unpaid and low positions

One disadvantage of doing an internship is the often low or non-existent pay opportunities.

Many interns are expected to work for free or for a nominal stipend, which can be financially challenging for those who need to support themselves.

Unpaid internships may also contribute to economic inequality by limiting opportunities to those who can afford to work without pay, which is a small percentage of the population.

#2 – Limited responsibility

Interns are typically assigned less critical tasks compared to full-time employees. This can be frustrating for those seeking more challenging and meaningful work experiences.

Performing menial or repetitive tasks that do not contribute to skill development requires a great deal of patience.

However, this ultimately leads to more responsibility.

#3 – Time commitment

Internships require a time commitment, which can be challenging to balance with other responsibilities such as coursework or part-time jobs.

If you’re working two jobs, this can be a very draining lifestyle resulting in burnout, fatigue, and reduced performance.

#4 – Uncertain job prospects

While internships are a great way to network with others in the industry, there’s no guarantee of employment once the internship ends. Some companies may not have immediate openings or may choose not to hire interns as full-time employees.

This uncertainty can create stress and anxiety for interns who are hoping for a clear career path.

#5 – Highly competitive

Given how many people are trying to secure entry-level roles, internships are often highly competitive.

Companies tend to have a limited number of internship positions available, especially for prestigious or well-known organisations. This scarcity of positions leads to competition among students and graduates, meaning expectations are high for candidates.

If you live in a busy city, companies with strong reputations are likely to receive a high volume of applications.

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Is an Internship Right for Me?

After reading this article, you might be wondering whether an internship is right for you or not.

Internships can be a valuable stepping stone on your pathway to a successful career, offering skill development, networking opportunities and CV enhancement.

However, it’s important to take the time to understand whether you can do an unpaid internship and accept limited responsibility in order to gain experience.

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