Can Students Get Internships in High School – and What Kind?

By Huntington Learning Center

You’ve heard of internships in college, but what about internships in high school?

They do exist, and they are worthwhile! Internships help students learn about different careers, experience the workplace setting for themselves, teach them how to build professionalism and people skills, and so much more. Plus, as your student moves toward going to college, internships are excellent resume-builders.

What kinds of internships are out there? College certainly offers more types of internships, but there are still a variety of internships that your high school student should consider. Here’s an overview of the types of experiences for which your student might qualify:

Nonprofit internships:

Many organizations offer services to different groups of people for little to no cost. Working as an intern for such an organization presents a win-win solution wherein your student gains valuable experience and the nonprofit gains some extra hands. A nonprofit internship could provide your student a wider range of experiences too.

Cooperative experiences:

Some high schools offer programs to juniors and seniors to expose them to different career possibilities while still earning high school credit. The idea is to blend hands-on learning with classroom experience. A high school guidance counselor would know, so have your student inquire about these types of programs.

Summer internships:

Probably the most popular type of internship is the summer internship, from summer research experiences for budding scientists to engineering apprenticeships to cybersecurity programs that have students delve into this growing field. It just takes some digging to find these opportunities, so have your student go online to see what’s available.

Service-learning experiences:

Many high school students are still figuring out what they want to study in college, so getting an internship in a specific career area might feel premature. Service-learning, which combines community service with defined learning experiences, during spring, fall, and summer breaks is a good way to get hands-on experience and learn about different areas of the country or places in the world.

Where can your student find internships? Here are a few tips for how to approach the search:

  • Talk to the guidance counseling office.
  • Check out colleges nearby.
  • Call local businesses.
  • Ask family friends with businesses if they would consider a high school intern.
  • Search online for national and local programs.

With good grades and high SAT and ACT scores, your student’s resume will only be strengthened by an internship experience in high school. This is a great way to learn more about an area of interest that could be a potential college major and build valuable work experience. Encourage your student to explore what’s out there.