Plus-sized Black woman in red shirt and grey pencil skirt posing in office near

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
Rhiannon Teeter

Rhiannon Teeter

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2012

I have spent a lot of time aggressively searching for scholarships. It was a long and frustrating process until I found the CollegeXpress network. This site made my search so much easier. With the simple check of a few boxes, the site sorted out scholarships I was eligible for and led me directly to the correct websites. Winning this scholarship has definitely given me and my family some financial relief, and CollegeXpress has allowed me to improve my chances of winning further financial aid. Thank you so much!

Kyla McClain

Kyla McClain

High School Class of 2024

I found CollegeXpress when you partnered with for a scholarship. I found your website, put my information in, and got connected. I only wanted to stay in North Carolina [for college] and not move far from home, but you all opened a door up for me. I started researching colleges you suggested for me. On your social media platforms, you also give really good test-taking tips that I used and suggested others to do the same. It helped me a lot on my exams, so thank you.

Elizabeth Stafford

Elizabeth Stafford

High School Class of 2021

As a UK student moving to California due to my dad's job in the military, when I first signed up for CollegeXpress a few months ago, the college process ahead seemed daunting and incredibly stressful. That all changed after I started to explore what this website had to offer. Not only was I helped by the vast array of resources available to me, but through being a CollegeXpress member, there have been so many more benefits. There have been emails with college tips—all of which I found incredibly helpful—as well as invitations to events and notifications of scholarships that'll make college possible for me. Overall, I'm very grateful to CollegeXpress for all of these things and more. Not only have they helped me grow my understanding of the college process, but they've also helped me to grow as a person, giving me new skills that I can take with me through life.



High School Class of 2023

Being a sophomore in high school, I never really worried about college. I thought it wasn't important to worry about until senior year. Through this program opportunity I came across, I realized how important it is to start looking at colleges early and start planning ahead. CollegeXpress has opened my eyes to what colleges require, what colleges are near me, and what they offer. The daily emails I get from CollegeXpress really help me look at the different options I have and what colleges I fit into. Without this website, I would not be taking the time out of my day to worry about what my future will be nor what opportunities I have. I could not be more grateful for such an amazing and useful website. It's thanks to CollegeXpress that not only me but my family now know how much potential I have in to getting into these colleges/universities that we thought were out of my reach.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me organize the schools I wanted to choose from in one place, which then I could easily compare and find the school that was right for me!

College Matches