Historically, the word internship has been associated with college students, not high school students. Well, I'm here to tell you that this has changed. High school students can (and should) look for internship opportunities as well.
Having a job while in high school is a great way to build up your experience and work ethic. And you can do this through a job at a local grocery store, convenience store, movie theater, or some other similar type of business.
However, if you're able to find an information technology job with a local business doing the type of work you want to do as your career, this will be even better.
Although I'm referring to this as a job, you'll approach is more like an internship or apprenticeship.
This also means that you should be willing to offer up your services for free (an unpaid internship) in exchange for the experience you'll gain. By doing this, you'll be more likely to get a business to create an internship position when one didn't previously exist.
I mean, what business wouldn't want to have someone work several hours per week without having to pay them?
Let's shift now to the benefits of landing an internship while in high school.
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Three Benefits Of Internships For High School Students
#1: Pinpoint your preferred career path—Without much work experience, you may not know for sure what specifically you want to do with your career.
Because of this, the sooner you can gain real world tech experience, the sooner you'll be able to hone in on your ideal career path.
#2: Bolster your resume—Whether you're applying for colleges, other internships, or your first job after graduating from school, a high school internship can be powerful.
When you show the ambition and initiative of landing an internship while in high school, this will make you stand out from the crowd. Especially when you consider that most high school students are thinking about anything but their careers.
#3: Open up doors for future opportunities—Growing your professional network (with the right people) will increase your chances for career success. And by getting your foot in the door at an early age, you'll begin the process of growing your professional network.
And the larger your network (assuming it's filled with quality individuals), the more opportunities will present themselves.
The Bottom Line
Landing an internship while still in high school is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
If you're still in high school, then spend some time contacting local businesses and offering up your technology skills.
And remember, you should strongly consider doing this unpaid since your experience alone will be worth much more than any hourly rate the business would pay you anyway.
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.