The spring semester has officially begun at most colleges, and along with it the rush to buy the cheapest used textbooks and cases of boxed ramen noodles. Freshman are doe-eyed no more and sophomores are beginning to consider majors. Juniors and seniors walking into upper level classes are already craving the end of the semester, when the latter will be set free to carve out their first career moves.
Regardless of their expected graduation date, all students should be thinking about beginning or advancing their careers with a summer internship. The job market is still tough, and if this next few years are anything like the last, young people who haven't spent any school time building up professional networks and real-world job skills could find themselves in a tough spot come graduation. Internships are one of the best ways for students to get their feet wet in as many industries as they're interested in a safe, short-term environment. And research shows there's a good chance the temporary position will turn into a job.
Because searching for and applying to internships is like an additional class's worth of work, AOL Jobs has put together a list of the top internship opportunities – most of which are paid – to lighten the load. Check it out below.