If you're a student or someone attempting to grow professionally, you most likely have been introduced to internships — one way or another. I know when I began my college career, the first thing I was told was to build my resume. This consisted of internships, clubs, and organizations that related to my future career. Once I did become involved in clubs and organizations, I knew the perfect time to build my professional work experience would be during the summer break of my freshman year. This began my research into internships.
When it came to finding internship opportunities, I was ready to take on anything. However, I knew I had to think about certain factors. For instance, would I want a paid or unpaid position?
That's what I'll be discussing today: the benefits and drawbacks of paid versus unpaid internships. Here are the pros and cons I considered when looking through my internship opportunities.
An obvious pro in choosing a paid internship is the comfort of pay. These opportunities provide a higher likelihood in job offers, as well as more challenging work. If a company is paying you, they're not just paying you to do busy work.
The cons of paid positions is that the companies are more selective because these type of positions receive higher applicants than if it were unpaid. Although increased applicant numbers doesn't mean you will be automatically rejected, it may still decrease your chances.
Unpaid internships tend to be hasty when it comes to defining what is a pro and what is a con. For instance, an unpaid position will require less of you. For an individual who does not have much experience and needs an introduction of their prospective career, this trait of unpaid positions is great. However, for someone who already has their fair share of internships, this may not be as helpful.
With this knowledge, an individual who has had their fair share of internships will still have a chance in growing and learning about the job. They still gain knowledge that a classroom setting cannot teach you. Also, while unpaid internships do not provide a dollar incentive, an incentive is still present: college credit. With college credit, this helps the student further themselves in their academic career.
I hope this helps you decide which internships works best for you.