How Internships Can Help Reduce the Cost of Your Education

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After finishing your university degree, you may be contemplating taking on a Master’s degree or college course to enhance your marketability when the time comes to get on the graduate job hunt. But have you ever thought about applying for an internship instead?

Internships bridge the gap between academic studies and the working world, where candidates learn on the job and broaden their knowledge and skill base. Internships are available in various industries, including business, technology, healthcare, arts, journalism, engineering, and more. In most cases, employers look more favourably on candidates that have undertook internships than further education as they have the real-world experience needed to hit the ground running once hired.

So, with this in mind, here’s how internships can reduce the cost of your education, and why they arebeneficial.

A learning experience

Internships give graduates the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge used in the classroom to practical scenarios in the workplace. While further education is compulsory to succeed in certain careers such as Medical or Law, internships are a great route for those who wish to clearly understand the daily operations of their field, as well as industry trends and operational dynamics. What’s more, candidates also become familiarised with the company culture, which can’t be learned from textbooks. 

Reduces the likelihood of enrolling onto the ‘wrong’ course

Internships offer a valuable opportunity to gain firsthand experience in a specific industry, helping individuals make more informed decisions about their career paths. One of the significant advantages is that internshipsalmost serve as a reality check to individuals who aren’tquite sure on their career path. 

Some students apply for a course without prior knowledge of what it entails and soon realise that it doesn’t fit their expectations; which can often end up in withdrawal from the course and therefore, loss of fees and time. In an internship, students can assess whether a particular industry aligns with their aspirations before committing to the appropriate university course. 

Think of an internship as a trial period. You’ll gain hands-on experience that reveals the day-to-day realities of the industry, and evaluate whether it aligns with your interests and long-term goals. In turn, you’ll be able to modify your career objectives and ensure that you invest your time wisely in a path that matches your professional aspirations.

The chance to network

Internships provide a unique avenue for individuals to develop and expand their professional network. External professionals, supervisors, and peers could become key players in your professional growth. They may offer to become your mentor, or even point you in the direction of career opportunities, should you impress them with your talents and long-term potential. 

While some people head to university with the sole intention of securing the highest-paid roles in their industry, it’s not the only route. Making professional relationships during an internship can be a much more powerful way of carving out success in your desired industry and lead to exciting prospects. After all, it’s not what you know, but who you know.

Job placement opportunities

While pursuing a university degree is a common path for students aiming to enhance their employability, internships are a great alternative as a direct route into the working world. Interns have the chance to showcasetheir skills and capabilities over a period of time (typically 6 to 12 months) and may potentially fast-track their way to full-time employment.

Employers prefer to hire candidates that they are familiar with. By working closely with interns over an extended timeframe, they gain a closer evaluation of their work ethic, personality and compatibility to the company culture. Typically, interns are always one step ahead of other new graduates. They are typically hiredon the spot should the correct opportunity come around, cutting out the need for employers to advertise the role on job boards. 

Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching candidates to their dream internship. Check out their graduate jobs London listings for roles


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