Internships and Co-Ops: An Excellent Way to Preview and Plan Your Future - Diversity Employers | HighBeam Research
It's the job seekers' oldest dilemma: 'how can I get a job without experience? And how can I get experience, if no one will hire me?' As a college student, you have a unique advantage in finding the solution to this problem. You can add practical experience to your formal education; learn more about the career you've chosen, and become the candidate companies are looking for by participating in internship and cooperative education programs.
Internships and co-op opportunities turn classroom theory into practical, hands-on experience. You can gain insight into your field, which will help you begin planning your desired career path well before graduation. There are two types of internships, academic and non-academic. Academic internships involve you, the employer, and your school. Your work at the company must be related to your major, in order to receive academic credit. The college will determine whether credit will be awarded based on various factors such as the amount of hours worked, or duties performed, and their relation to your studies. Non-academic internships are arranged by you and the employer. They offer no academic credit, and you are responsible for balancing your work and school schedules yourself. While they offer little or no pay, internships do offer valuable work experience for use in career planning and after graduation.