Students learn important theoretical and practical concepts in the classroom as a part of a college-level degree in information technology. Work experience can supplement this education providing industry-specific skills and access to the type of environment they may work in after graduation. There are several common ways IT students get work experience while they are still students, including internships, part-time jobs and capstone classes.
There are many companies, organizations and government agencies that offer internships to students in technical fields. A student will need a level of skill typically obtained through a few semesters of IT coursework. Internships may occur during summer or in place of a semester. In IT, students usually receive payment for their work as an intern. College credit, however, may also be an option at some institutions. The student should intern at the type of place they are most interested in eventually working at so they can decide if they like it.
Students in IT may have many options for part-time technical jobs they can do during the school year in addition to taking classes. Jobs can include on-campus positions working for specific departments, professors or units. Off-campus jobs with local companies are another option. As there is great demand for IT work, companies close to universities often will hire students to work part-time.
As a part of some college IT curriculums, there is a required capstone class. This can give students the opportunity to do work for real companies as part of a structured course. Often, students work in teams on projects and learn how to interact effectively with a client. The students receive credit and grades in the course and can include it on their resume as a project they worked on.
Practical work experience while in school can help a student figure out what kind of IT career they want to pursue. It helps them stand out when applying for jobs after graduation and gives them valuable skills that will help them succeed in a future workplace.
Are you a student interested in a career working on IBM Power Systems? If so, learn more about the opportunities the COMMON Education Foundation offers.