What Is The Difference Between Internship And Externship?

Finding work can be difficult, especially after all those years of studying. With high competition, you want to stand out and enhance your knowledge in your career field of choice.

That is where internships and externships come into play. We have all heard of the terms but how well do we know the difference?

What Is An Internship?

An internship is position offered by companies to students and graduates. With this position, you would take on a role as part of a company to learn the ways of their work and to gain hands on experience whilst promoting your own skills and knowledge.

The internship you choose will be related to your future career choice, allowing you to prepare for your future.

What Is An Externship?

An externship is a temporary placement offered to students. This is usually made possible by the school and chosen workplace who come together to make this possible.

Here, students will get to endure hands on experience of what it is like to work, preparing them for the future as they observe the tasks of workers.

Why Do People Choose To Do Internships/Externships?

Both internships and externships are growing more popular and this is because of all the benefits doing so brings.

Not only is this a great opportunity for the one partaking in the position, but it looks brilliant on a resume. Through doing an internship or an externship, you are showing future employers that you already have some experience in the job field and you have a head start.

As well as this, an opportunity like this helps many students to figure out what they want to do in their lives. Is the job role they have always dreamed of the right choice for them? Internships and externship allow you the chance to figure out your options.

Internships Vs Externships – What’s The Difference?

It is clear that internships and externships are very similar. They each are focused on students/graduates and help to prepare them for their future with hands-on work in the industry. But what is it that separates one from the other?


Work With A Team

An internship is treated just like the real deal, so you will be in the workplace working with a team of people.

Will Gain New Skills

Every day you will be learning new skills in that field that will help you in the future.

Participating In Staff Meetings

As this is a hands-on experience, you have opportunities to participate in professional staff meetings and share your thoughts and ideas.

Can Last As Long As A Semester

Internships typically last for the entire summer or throughout a semester.


Lasts Only A Few Weeks

Externships are much shorter than internships and will last only as much as a few weeks.


During the time at the company students will be observing staff and analyzing what they do (this includes their work tasks and meetings).


More often than not will this experience be unpaid.

How To Find Internships And Externships

Internships and externships are amazing opportunities that not just anyone can get. If you are wanting to have a chance to observe your dream workplace through an externship or have a taste of your future job role with an internship, here is where you need to start.

There are plenty of opportunities online through job sites. There are many who think job sites are only there for those looking for full time or part time paid work but these sites have subcategorizes for internships.

Simply type in the field of work you are interested in and choose where to apply.

Through School/ University

If you are in need of help, you are always free to turn to your school. They have the resources to help you find the right internship/externship for you and will point you in the right direction.

As well as this, some classes organize externships for their students in order to allow them that chance.


Networking is the best chance to put yourself out there and talk to people. It is also the best chance to seek advice on getting onto an internship/externship and make contacts. If not in person, another way to network is through LinkedIn.

Adding Your Internship/Externship To Your Resume

Once you have completed your internship or externship you can then put this on your resume. Doing so is a simple task and it is important to put down everything that will be valuable to your future employer.

  • Consider everything you have learnt
  • Speak of the skills you have gained
  • Recall moments you have had to participate in tasks
  • Did you have to overcome something challenging?

It is also important to list the name of the company, the date and your duties.

Final Thoughts

Internships and externships are very similar and bring a lot to the table. Although they are temporary and there is a low chance of payment, there is a lot to gain.

Anyone would be fortunate to have the opportunity to partake in an internship or an externship as it is the one thing that helps you on the road to success.

Internships and externships are great for preparing you for the real world; you get to experience what life is like at your ideal workplace and get a taste of your future.

As well as this, it puts things into perspective. It may happen that you explored the workplace just to find out this isn’t the right area of work for you.

The difference between an internship and an externship can be confusing to some due to their similarities, but to break it down – an internship is working in a workplace (typically in your field of choice) in which you experience work life, and an externship is shadowing and analyzing the workplace.

Both play a vital role and have a huge impact on an individual’s mindset. Whichever one you do, just know that this will help your future.

Search Programs

Get information on programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Sponsored Search

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *