If you are considering a career in the IT field, it is important to gain several different types of internships before setting off into the job market. The more diverse your range of internships is, the better prepared you will be for any IT position that might open up. Doing a range of IT internships will make you an asset to any team, but will also help you pinpoint what parts of the field you enjoy and are best at; that combination of enthusiasm and skill is what will truly make for a successful career.
1 – Group-Based Internships
While not all IT jobs will involve working as a team, information technologies does place a high priority on working as a group. Learning to work well and solve problems as a team is an important skill you can learn through your internships. Group-based internships also give you a chance to develop your voice as a leader amongst your peers. Knowing how to lead a team can be just as important of a skill in the IT world as your computer programming knowledge or ability to troubleshoot various pieces of equipment.
2 – Technically Focused Internships
Because IT has an extensive skills set, you will need to do at least one IT internship that focuses on those technical skills. Your supervisors during these internships will be the people who can vouch for your capabilities when the time comes for you to get a job. Depending on the concentration of your technical internships, you may need to do one focusing on programming and app development, another on database architecture, and another one focused on device management.
3 – People Skills Internships
A big part of IT jobs today involve being able to work well with people who aren’t IT professionals. This includes working at a help desk, answering phones and helping people solve problems remotely, as well as having strong networking skills that will allow you to make important business decisions. Having a successfully completed tech support internship under your belt before heading into the job market will show that you have done the basic labor of the field and have the ability to communicate your skills beyond other professionals.
4 – Analytics and Security Internships
Analytics and security based internships are both focused on deciphering data to keep your company ahead of the curve, and these skills are in increasing demand on the job market. Completing an analytics related internship will show employers that you have the sophisticated ability to read important trends in the masses of available data. Similarly, a security or governance related internship demonstrates a keen eye for the trickery of cyber-attacks. Both of these skills are detail oriented and absolutely critical to the success of the modern IT firm.
While completing five or more internships before entering the IT field may seem excessive, today, internships are a necessary counterpart to college. Many professionals recommend this extended course of training, viewing it as a way to locate those young people who truly have the skills to move a company forward. Consider every internship as a chance to network, a chance to get closer to that dream job, and a door you must pass through on the way to your career.