You leave university confident, qualified and ready to take the tech world by storm. But the tech world simply shrugs its collective shoulders. What should you do?
If you really want to impress employers, then you need to prove that you have the practical skills to match academic achievement. These skills can only really be gained from getting stuck right in, which is why doing an internship can be so beneficial to the start of your tech career. Having a good internship on your CV will make you stand out from all the other graduates out there, and it might just land you that dream job!
Internships can help you to develop a whole range of skills. They are a great way to get practical training in the technologies most relevant to the work you want to do. Work experience can give you a valuable insight into how a specific technology works, and why it works best for a particular type of business.
When you’re in a real working environment, you will gain a good understanding of the interaction between business and technology, and the way in which technological processes are driven by business necessity. You will also be able to get a good sense of the way your role functions as part of the wider business.
Experience in the workplace can help you to develop ‘soft skills’ such as communication, organisation and team working. Even if you’re looking for a technical role where you will mostly be working independently, all employers look for these kind of abilities in potential employees. When interviewing for permanent positions, you need to show yourself to be personable and professional as well as having the right technical know-how, and completing an internship can help you to become a more well-rounded candidate.
Many young people take on internships after they leave university, but interning whilst studying is common too. If you’re still studying, then think about doing an internship in the summer holidays, especially if your course doesn’t include mandatory work experience. The things you learn in the workplace can help you to achieve better grades, and this in turn will make you more employable in the future. A work placement can also help you to choose your career path. After all, you never really know exactly what a job entails until you have first-hand experience of working in the role.
Both small and large companies offer placements, and the benefits can be different depending on which you choose. Internships at larger tech companies looks great on your CV, and they are particularly good for gaining contacts and exposing you to corporate culture. Smaller firms, on the other hand, can often give you more responsibility and hands-on experience.
The good news is that the influence of technology on modern business models means that tech interns are in demand, so if you want to become an outstanding candidate, then think about doing an internship before you look for your first full time tech position. It will help you tap into your technical potential, pick up valuable new skills and show employers that you’re committed. The company may even take you on at the end of it!