Will an internship help me land my first fresher jobs?

Why has India changed its education policy after a gap of 34 years? Why after coming to power Modi government launch Skill India in 2015? Does these steps taken by the administration hint toward something?
State governments are also following in the footsteps of the central government. Delhi Government recently inaugurated a centre for skill-based courses for underprivileged youth. Named ‘The Lighthouse’, it will offer high-quality, short-term vocational skill courses including fashion designing, hospitality and management, tourism and travels, makeup and beauty courses, Java, C++, personality development, and spoken English. These courses were curated keeping in mind the demands for Fresher jobs.

This administrative push toward skilling the Indian youth is coming at the right time. According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), with an average age of 29, India hosts one of the youngest populations globally. When this staggering number of young citizens enters the workforce, it could create a condition known as a ‘demographic dividend. The huge human resource pool of our country needs to be skilled to be able to reap this benefit.

According to ‘The India Skills Report 2019, 84% of Indian students preferred doing internships. This huge inclination towards doing internships is borne out of the fact that our current education system offers little practical experience or vocational training to the students enrolled in schools or universities. Internships offer students a real practical opportunity to experience a field and help determine students if the career they are choosing is the right fit for them or not.

What’s the difference between internship and training?

The next probable question coming to your mind will be why should I opt for an internship if I can undergo vocational training for my dream career? That’s a very valid question. Experts believe that an “Internship provides adequate opportunities to employers to observe and evaluate a potential candidate” this isn’t usually possible through other sources of talent acquisition.”

How is an internship beneficial to students? An internship involves working on a specific assignment/ project in any business unit or organization. Since they are of fixed duration with clearly outlined roles and responsibilities, students get the taste of what their work life could be, also they don’t get hinged to the organization in a permanent sense and can-do internships every year during their breaks (Summer/winter) and return to college.

Training, on the other hand, is for students who are presently pursuing an academic program usually, Bachelors’s / Master’s program and is designed to give them practical insights. The major objective is to help students bridge their classroom learning with real life. Training is for a fixed period.

To present the benefits of internships to you in a concise manner, let me enumerate them:

1. Work Experience:

The most dreaded question for every fresher is what’s your work experience? Every major organization now wants candidates with experience. They expect you have some kind of experience in the field for which you are applying. The only way to fulfil this requirement is to get professional experience through the means of an internship while still pursuing your college degree.

2. Clear ambiguity:

With many college students still unclear about their career goals or career path, the only way to clear these cobwebs is an Internship! Giving a chance to your field of inclination and observing it works for you leaves no doubts.

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3. Breaking fantasies:

Another highly probable scenario is that a student might have some romanticized notions regarding a particular job profile in their mind but after having interned for that profile they might realize that it is not for them. This saves them a lot of trouble of having to switch jobs once they permanently enter that field and saves them from a lot of disappointment.

4. College Credits:

Realizing the importance of internships, UGC has recently introduced guidelines where under NEP 2020, each undergrad student will now have to intern for 8-10 weeks during graduation. This will earn them credits. Since non-metro cities don’t have national universities and offer fewer internship opportunities, Jobs for Freshers and internship opportunities are concentrated in metro cities.

5. Financial Independence:

Internship opportunities aren’t always non-payable, if you land yourself a paid internship that means extra pocket money. You could start gaining financial autonomy by covering your travel expenses and maybe do little saving for personal items.

6. Ace your placement interviews:

Look at data from your university’s placement cell and find out what percentage of students in your course do internships. But If the percentage is high, it becomes imperative for you to do the same. If that percentage is low, it means an internship will give you an advantage over your peers.

7. Build networks:

When you start working in a company, be it as an intern. You get the opportunity to meet and interact with people. The opportunity to attend meetings and events connects you to professionals in your domain. Make new connections and broaden your horizons. Do you think for Job vacancy in Mumbai, you can get selected while sitting in Bhopal over a candidate. Who interned in Mumbai and learnt about the culture, language and most important formed connections with people? No, only if you were the intern then you become the first or default choice for that company. But if a vacancy props up in future for a permanent position.

In the coming years, jobs will become scarce, while people applying for the same one will exponentially increase. The job market would become more competitive and competition more cut-throat. In this battle of talents and skills, having a simple degree will not be enough. You will need an internship program to stand out from the crowd and reach your desired goals.

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