5 Important Reasons to Get an Internship in College

In this day and age, you're only doing yourself a disservice if you don't have an internship in college. Here's why they're so beneficial to your career success.

Internships are an excellent way for college students to gain real experience before diving into a full-time job. Through an internship, students can learn new skills and understand how business environments operate. Internships also provide in-field teaching moments and let students practice all the skills they learn through coursework. Unfortunately, many colleges and universities don't require an internship for students to graduate. But without work experience, it’s significantly harder to get hired after college. Here are five  reasons why an internship is a must before you graduate.

1. It looks good on a résumé

When you’re applying for a job, employers not only look at your degree but also your work history on your résumé. Internships give you the necessary experience employers want to  see from a new grad; it shows you can do the job and contribute to the company. Furthermore, it's harder to train someone with limited work experience that  doesn’t pertain to the job they’re applying for. Internships also increase your chances of getting a job right out of college. The competition is fierce in the workplace, so you’ll stand out by having internship experience.

Related: 6 Important Résumé Tips for College Students 

2. You’ll learn new skills

You learn new skills in your college classes, yes, but will you know how to use them correctly in the workplace? An internship is the perfect place for developing and practicing the hard and soft skills you need to get the job you want in the future. By enhancing your newly discovered expertise, you’ll become more marketable in the workforce. This can include learning how to manage your time effectively, communicate properly, and work with a team. An internship will give you experience in all these areas as well as the confidence in your abilities to actually do the work.

3. You can get paid with some internships

While not all internships are paid positions, you can get paid for many of them. The average hourly pay for an internship in the US is about $15 an hour. Getting paid for any job is nice, but it's better to find an internship that increases your skills in your major, which increases your chances of getting a job in your field after graduation. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find an internship that helps you gain the knowledge and experience you need to land a job and collect a good paycheck. 

Related: Summer Jobs, Internships, and Volunteering

4. It's possible to work at the business after the internship

If you've had a successful internship, you could get hired after you finish. Many companies that have  internship programs will hire from the intern pool; in fact, about 60% of paid internships lead to a full-time job. Congruently, this makes the job hunting process a lot easier for you by eliminating the need to apply. Even if you don’t get hired permanently, your chances of getting a job somewhere else increase significantly because if the internship went well, they can give you a great recommendation.

5. You’ll make new connections

Networking is crucial in any career. Meeting new people and creating professional relationships can benefit you later in life, and having many different connections gives you a pool of people to recommend you and increases your chances of getting hired at a new company. Connecting with others during your internship can also improve your communication skills and get you out of your comfort zone. You’ll establish bonds with coworkers and could even create new friendships.

Related: 11 Networking Tips for College Students Looking for Jobs

Internships are a great way for students to prepare for a real workplace environment. Having the skills and abilities of a professional gives you an edge in the marketplace. Additionally, getting paid could be a bonus! Overall, an internship makes you more desirable to employers, giving you a better chance of getting hired after graduation. Securing one (or more) in college is the first step to your future career success.

Get ready for your internship with advice from student vlogger Tanvi over on our YouTube channel!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

careers experiential learning internships internships and careers jobs work experience

About Justin Klug

Justin Klug is a student-athlete and digital marketing intern at Iowa Wesleyan University. He’ll be graduating in the spring of 2021 with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and returning to Iowa Wesleyan in fall 2021 to start a master's degree while working as a graduate assistant for the Narketing department. Be sure to check out Iowa Wesleyan’s College Blog!


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress


High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress is a multi-maneuver platform that has been helping students in their college applications and scholarship hunt process. For me, CollegeXpress has been a boon. I've been able to find my dream university via CX, and I've also been able to apply to thousands of scholarships through it. All the thanks to CollegeXpress for doing such a great job for free. I express my sincere gratitude to you for doing such a wonderful job. I recommend CollegeXpress without any reservations.

Joan Franklin

Joan Franklin


I love this website and have been using it for years with my students. I originally bought products through Wintergreen Orchard House and appreciated having key facts at my fingertips when advising students. Your site is easy to access and offers a wide array of topics I need as a busy college counselor.

Melanie Kajy

Melanie Kajy

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously during my senior year of high school. I started off using the college search to find more information about the universities I was interested in. Just this tool alone gave me so much information about a particular school. It was my one-stop shop to learn about college. I was able to find information about college tuition, school rank, majors, and so much more that I can't list it all. The college search tool has helped me narrow down which college I want to attend, and it made a stressful process surprisingly not so stressful. I then moved to the scholarship search tool to find scholarships to apply for because I can't afford to pay for tuition myself. The search tool helped me find scholarships that I was eligible for. The tool gave me all the information I could ever need about a particular scholarship that was being offered. The CollegeXpress scholarship search tool is so much better than other tools offered, like the Chegg scholarship search. Thanks to CollegeXpress, I was able to apply to tons of scholarships in a relatively easy way!



High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress helped open me up to many colleges that fit my interests. I’m only a sophomore in high school, so I like having a lot to look at, and CX does a great job of picking colleges that meet my wants. It's a great website that I'll continue to use until it comes time for me to apply for colleges. I also like that it notifies me through email with options to look at. Thanks CX!

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Moody Bible Institute

Chicago, IL

Grace College

Winona Lake, IN

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY