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Let's say you're questioning whether college is right for you. Your reason for this could be one of many, which I discussed in a previous blog post—Is College The Right Decision For You

College is becoming less-and-less important for many industries, so we’re going to see more high school students opt-out of college. 

And this leads us to the question in the title of this article… What’s the point of an internship if you’re not going to attend college?

You may also be interested in "Internship Mastery" Has Officially Launched

Why An Internship Is Still Important

Regardless of whether you plan to attend college or not, an internship can help speed up your career growth. An internship can provide you with real world work experience, a better understanding of whether you’re working in the right industry, and valuable connections.

I discuss all of these benefits in more detail in this prior post—What Are The Advantages Of An Internship?

Let’s play out a scenario here.

You’re a high school student about to graduate. You decide that college isn’t the right option for you, or you decide that you want to take a year off to figure out your path. 

In these scenarios, you still have the option to look for an internship in your desired industry.

It can be tough to get into some larger organizations if you don’t have any college experience, so you’ll have to be creative. 

One of the best ways to land an internship in this situation is by using the same advice I give high school students. Find a smaller business, and offer to work for really cheap (or even for free). 

This will likely mean that you’ll need to work another job to pay your bills, but the connections and experience you make will be more than worth it. 

Here’s the article I published previously on The Importance Of Internships For High School Students.

The Bottom Line

Internships or apprenticeships should be in your career plans whether you plan to go to college or not.

When talking specifically about the technology path, you may need to build up your experience with a smaller organization and work for cheap (or free). 

In addition to this, if you plan to bypass college, you will need to spend a lot of your own time working on your own projects in your related industry. For example, if you’re in the tech industry with a goal of becoming a software engineer, this may mean spending time building mobile or web apps on your own. 

Don’t expect to submit an empty resume to a company and get a job.

You need some sort of experience, and a combination of internships and personal projects can help you showcase your knowledge.   


Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of tech industry knowledge. Ryan has his BBA and MBA from the University of Iowa. Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

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