An internship sets you up to excel in your career in more ways than one. Find out about the types of internships for computer science majors.
Internships offer immense insight into what it’s like to work in your chosen career field while you are still a student. For those in the advancing field of technology, there are many types of internships for computer science that will provide the practical, real life experience and knowledge to complement your education. Internships will help you stand out when applying for an entry-level position and will serve as a starting point for your resume.
When To Apply
If you know you’re ready to get an internship, you’ll want to understand the timing to apply. For summer internships, start compiling a list of companies you’re interested in working for during winter break. It may seem too early, but being proactive is never frowned upon! Additionally, different companies have different procedures and some may call for various rounds of interviews before hiring an intern.
While there’s no exact measurement for when to apply, a 3-6 month runway before the time you’d like to start offers adequate time to apply, interview, and provide any necessary documentation before getting hired.
What to Look For
Since there are many options available for computer science majors when it comes to internships and employments, start by asking yourself the type of company you see yourself in.
For example, you can intern for a big, global corporation, at a university, nonprofit, or a small startup. One of the best ways to begin compiling the type of place you want to work is to think about the products first. If you’re excited about the work, product or service a company creates, you’ll be more passionate and interested in the work you do to help create that product.
When it comes to large corporations, many of them will offer internship programs that they will advertise on their website and in the tech community. If you find one you’d like to work for, see if you can contact someone from the company directly rather than solely applying online. While applying online can work through the systems, it’s more optimal to get in touch with someone in the company and showcase your personality and establish a connection to stand out from the competition.
Say you would rather intern at a startup because startups will allow for you to wear various hats and could offer a broader scope to advance within the company upon graduation. If that’s the case, a good way to filter startups is by learning about the founder. You can do a quick Google search and see what other companies they founded. You can also research the current employees to see what they have accomplished within and outside of the company, or even reach out directly to ask them about their experience via social media, LinkedIn or email.
Types of Internships
Computer science is a rapidly growing field. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the computer science field is expected to grow 19% between 2016-2026 which is much faster than average.
There are many types of internships in computer science that will satisfy the type of job description and career you’re looking to work in.
Here’s a look at some of the common kinds of computer science internships:
Front-End Engineering Intern:
Back-End Engineering Intern:
Like a front-end developer, back-end engineers will write code, but it is more likely to be Ruby, Python and Java. Back-end interns will work on using data to power a website or application and also help to code, debug, and test these products.
Full Stack Software Engineering Intern:
Full stack engineers combine the knowledge that is necessary to build both the front end and back end of a website or application. As an intern, you’ll learn how to optimize technological procedures to create the efficient digital products that serve the end user and the business.
Mobile Engineering Intern:
Whether developing for Android or iOS, an internship as a mobile engineer will teach you how to use code to develop user-facing applications for mobile use.
Product Management Intern:
Product management interns get to serve as the liaison between designers, marketing teams and developers. They devise strategies, execution roadmaps and quality assure products are developed properly for clients.
Data Scientist Intern:
Data scientists leverage data and information to develop statistical models and customer profiles. They help to understand consumer behavior to assist in designing better products and create solutions.
Job Outlook for Computer Science
You’ve likely already chosen to major in computer science if you’re interested in an internship in the field. This means you probably already know the benefits of choosing to study computer science.
The field is highly competitive because technology is always improving, so the best of the best are needed to set companies and businesses apart. Additionally, with the high demand comes high supply of people flocking into the field to fill positions as job prospects are broad.
That’s why getting an internship early on in your academic career can really make all the difference in the long run. Of the new jobs projected in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field, two out of three of them are in computing. Additionally, they make up some of the highest paying jobs for new graduates.
Not only do internships provide you with practical experience, but they also signal to future employers that you’re ambitious, dedicated and can manage your time well.
Getting an Internship Abroad
It’s a given that computer science is a global career path, which means that there are internships available around the world. As an American citizen looking to experience life abroad, or as a citizen of a country outside of America, there are plenty of options available for interning. The good thing about coding, like math, is that it’s a universal language! Here’s a good resource for finding computer science internships abroad.
After an Internship
Once you complete your internship, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with those you work with. This will prove to be beneficial should you want to work for the company in the future. Additionally, you never know the types of opportunities that may arise from those you network with during your internship. Some ways to stay in touch would be via LinkedIn, emails or phone calls every couple of months just to check up on what your contact is doing and how the company is progressing. Along with your internship existing on your resume forever, the connections you make can last a lifetime!