Internships vs. summer jobs: Which is better for you?

As the school year comes to an end, many college students are boggled with one question: Should I get an internship or a summer job?

Understandably, it is a tough question for anyone to answer as either opportunity will provide you with a unique experience and set of skills. For example, an internship is a great resume booster and will help you clearly define your career interests and goals. On the other hand, a summer job can help you acquire crucial communication and interpersonal skills.

While both are great opportunities for college students, here's a breakdown of the benefits of an internship vs. a summer job:

Summer Internship

- An internship is the perfect time to figure out if your desired career is the right fit for you.
- During your time at an internship, you have the opportunity to network with people in the industry.
- An internship will help boost your resume and emphasize your skills.
- Depending on how well you perform at your internship, you face the possibility of being offered a full-time position post-college.
- An internship provides the opportunity for you to gain first-hand experience and knowledge in your industry of choice.

Check out the best part-time jobs for college students during the semester:

Best part-time job for college students
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Best part-time job for college students

If you grew up babysitting younger family members, then this position is perfect for you. Not only is being a nanny one of the most flexible part-time jobs, but you can set your own rate. 

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While the hours for this position may not be as flexible, working as an office assistant or receptionist for a major company is a great way to get your foot in the door. As a receptionist you will be tasked with entry-level responsibilities, which will give you a great advantage when applying to your first full-time job. 

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Possibly one of the most demanding jobs, working as a server in a restaurant comes with just as much stress as reward. The hours may be long, but at some restaurants, wages can be worth it. 

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Similar to working as a nanny, being a tutor is one of the most flexible job opportunities. As a tutor, you can help others in a variety of subjects. This is a great job for a college student because not only will you be helping others, but you will also be strengthening your knowledge in whatever subject you teach. 

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Freelance Work 
Much like serving, being a freelancer can be very rewarding financially. As a freelancer, you can choose which industry you want to work in and begin to gain experience while still in school. 

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Work-Study Job  
If you are a student who meets the qualifications for financial aid, you can apply for your school's work study program. Work study schedules your shifts around your class schedule and the best part is that most jobs are on campus and the money you make can go directly towards paying off your tuition or any other university balances. 

Photo credit: Getty


Summer Job

- Having a summer job will help improve your time management skills as most jobs will have you work inconsistent hours during the week.
- A summer job is proven to build your confidence.
- Unlike many internships, a summer job is an opportunity to earn some extra cash.
- A summer job allows you to expand not only your professional network but your social network as well.
- Working at a job during the summer allows you to build core skills such as communication and other interpersonal skills.

Ultimately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. While internships can help boost your professional career, summer jobs can also provide you with vital real-world skills you'll need to succeed. Either way, the choice is yours.

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