Internship vs Externship - Differences, Benefits, and More

Internship vs. externship? Which should I get? Building up your experience is one of the greatest methods to position yourself for a job after graduation or a career change. You'll be a stronger candidate if you have more experience.

Internships and externships provide you the chance to broaden your skillset, learn about different career sectors, negotiate the corporate world, and get professional job experience for your resume/CV.

Benefits of an internship or externship

internship vs externship

What you learn during your internship can help you get recruited, pick the ideal job offer, and even remain on at your current position. According to the results of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Job Outlook 2021 study, when employers have two equally qualified candidates, the individual with internship experience is typically hired.

What is an internship?

An internship is a short-term employment that allows students and recent graduates to obtain skills and experience in a real-world setting. Business, technology, education, government, and charitable groups all provide internships.

Many internships are organized through guidance counselors in high schools, college internship programs, or career services offices.

It's also feasible to contact firms directly and arrange your own internship.

internship vs externship

Internships can be paid or unpaid, and they can be done remotely or on-site, depending on the company. Typically, interns are deemed employees. Meaning, according the U.S. Department of Labor, they should be paid as employees.

Internships are usually performed throughout the course of a college term or during the summer or school breaks. Internships can be full-time or part-time, and interns may be eligible for college credit.

What is an externship?

Externships allow participants to integrate their professional interests with the workplace, get hands-on experience, and gain insight into how businesses function. The majority of externships are temporary, however certain graduate institutions, such as law school, provide full-time full-term externships.

Externships, like internships, can be organized via a college or set up by an individual.

What're short-term externships?

Short-term externships allow students and recent graduates to gain experience in a particular field or business without committing a large amount of time. Participants may watch a workplace, attend meetings, and interview personnel for information.

Externships can last anything from a few hours to many weeks. It's comparable to a work shadowing program, in which participants spend a day or two learning about a job and a career area from an expert.

Graduate externships?

Externships are also available through graduate school programs. These programs, which are comparable to internships, are meant to provide participants with practical job experience to enhance their studies. They are longer-term, credit-bearing, full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid, and can be paid or unpaid.

Internships vs externships

Internships and externships are designed to give on-the-job training, resume-building experience, workplace exposure, and networking opportunities. The scope and duration of the programs, on the other hand, are different.

internship vs externship

Here's how to understand the differences between an internship and an externship.


  • Allow you to gain skills and experience.
  • Work closely with a professional team.
  • Usually lasts a semester or summer.
  • May or may not be credit-bearing (apply as college credit).
  • May or may not be a paid program (paid or unpaid).


  • Allows you to gain an overview of a career path.
  • Allows you to observe a workplace.
  • Usually short-term (days or weeks) of experience.
  • Typically doesn't apply as college credit.
  • Usually unpaid experience.

In short, here's the difference, externships are typically held for very short periods of time. And could be considered short-term job shadowing opportunities.

What is job shadowing?

Career shadowing is a great method to learn more about a job you're interested in.

Each work shadowing opportunity is unique. You will, however, usually follow an employee and observe them going about their daily tasks. They may also ask you to assist them with specific tasks.

Depending on how long you shadow an employee, you may gain job-relevant skills. Some workers will allow you to ask questions at any time during the day or at the end of the event.

How does job shadowing work?

internship vs externship

Job shadowing can be scheduled informally or as part of a formal program organized by a high school or university.

A formal work shadowing program may generally be found through your high school guidance counselor or your college's career services office. Schools may also maintain a list of alumni who are ready to provide students with job shadowing opportunities.

If your school does not provide a formal program, talk to a career counselor about locating a shadowing opportunity or reaching out to individuals in your network. Students can also participate in job shadowing programs at several big corporations and government agencies.

Pro tip: Though most work shadowing activities are intended to assist high school or college students in determining their preferred career options, adults can also participate.

If you're considering a career change, job shadowing could be beneficial. Begin by visiting with a career counselor or contacting your college's career services office, if it offers alumni help. Alternatively, you may just ask professional contacts, acquaintances, and relatives whether you can spend a day in the workplace with them.

How to find internships or externships

Here's how to get an externship or an internship.

internship vs externship

Check with your university

Your college is the greatest place to start looking for internships and externships for college students and recent grads. You'll find formal internship and externship programs, listings for paid and unpaid positions, and access to alumni you can network with to find an opportunity that matches your career interests, depending on the institution.

Search top job boards

Use the following job boards:

Additionally, use these entry-level job search websites.

Ask your network

Networking is also effective. Request access to an alumni career networking database if your institution has one so you may reach out to alumni in sectors of interest. Use LinkedIn and other media to join groups from your college. Alumni are frequently keen to help students from their alma mater.

Use family connections, too. Explore your community. Join a forum or Facebook group. Build your network.

Listing internship/externship experience on your resume

Listing an internship or externship is a valuable resource for professionals. It certainly is work experience that applies for a specific industry. And as a student or recent graduate, making a student resume requires listing these intern roles or extern roles.

Jobs will certainly find this experience applicable to placing you into an organizations future.

Do employers care about externship vs internship?

Typically, no. It is all considered valuable resources in evaluating your employment. Companies see externs as having experience in particular jobs, too.

Listing externship on the resume

  • Consider the abilities you learned throughout your externship.
  • Include information about your externship in the work experience or externships area.
  • During the externship, write down the job title, business name, and duties.
  • List the duties and activities you accomplished on the job.
  • In the skills area, include any extra talents you learned during your externship.

Consider the skills you gained

Take a minute to think on your externship experience and what you learned before starting to create your resume/CV. If you're not sure which duties you performed or are having difficulties remembering, you might call your boss to clarify the obligations you handled.

Place externship details in your work experience

List the experience in your resume after you have a clearer grasp of your duties and the abilities you've acquired. If you have minimal job experience to show, list your externship in the work experience area.

internship vs externship

You can create a separate section titled "Externships" if you have a lot of job experience and believe your externship is still relevant to the position you're applying for. If you have internship experience to include, you can title the section "Externships and Internships."

List the job title, company, and duties

Make a note of the job title you held during your externship on your CV. If you don't know what your work title is, ask your prior boss or just state the job title of the person you shadowed and add the word "externship" after it. If you shadowed a data analyst, for example, your job title may be "Data Analyst Externship."

Outline the duties

You can include the duties you accomplished during the externship under your job title and firm name. As you describe the instruction you got and any activities you did, try to be as specific as possible. You might also discuss any talents you used to assist you do any of the responsibilities throughout your time at the job.

Include key skills

If you learned any skills from this experience that are applicable to the job you're looking for, you may include them in a variety of parts of your resume. In your summary or aim statement, include these talents and explain how you will use them in the job.

Listing internship on the resume

  • On your job experience section, add the internship.
  • Put your formal title, business, location, and internship date on a piece of paper.
  • Throughout the internship, make a list of your tasks.
  • Include any successes or achievements.
  • Make sure the formatting is consistent with the rest of your resume/CV and job history.

Add the internship experience

You can mention your internship with your prior job experience because it most likely involves working under the supervision of a professional and developing useful skills. Your job history is frequently listed at the top of your resume. This section can also include internship experience. You can arrange your internship and work experience chronologically or by relevance to the job you're looking for.

Employers and hiring managers may value the hands-on experience you got during your internship, particularly if you developed skills that are stated in their job description. As a result, your internship should be listed alongside your job experience rather than in the education part of your resume. If you've done many internships in the past that are relevant to the position you're looking for, you may include them all in a separate section.

Add your job title

Include the formal title you worked under when you list your internship. If you don't already know the formal name of your internship, you might ask your previous internship supervisor. Your title might be social media marketing intern if you worked as an intern for a marketing firm and wrote articles for their social media accounts.

Include responsibilities

You can now make a list of the duties you performed throughout your internship. Your internship experience, like the tasks you stated in your employment experience, should be relevant to the position you're looking for. Review the job description and responsibilities if you're applying for a specific position. You can include them in your internship obligations if your internship helped you develop any of the abilities they require for this role.

Mention key achievements

You can add everything you completed or achieved while serving in your internship as part of your duties. Hiring supervisors may be interested in knowing about your previous internship to get a sense of what you may do in a full-time career with them. You can use figures or percentages to indicate what you accomplished during your previous internship when describing these successes and achievements.

You can speak with your previous supervisor if you are unclear about what you accomplished during your internship. They can assist you in realizing what you contributed to the organization as an intern.

internship vs externship

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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