Key Difference: An internship is a training program for a white collar or professional career. Apprenticeship is a training program for craft or trading jobs.
Internship and apprenticeship are two things that often look good on a résumé. Counselors in college often suggest that a person take up internship during the semester or summer break as it gives the student a better chance at their résumé being selected by a company. Many people often confuse internship with apprenticeship as both are similar in nature. They both require people to work with experienced people in a certain field and gain training under them. However, they are different from each other in many ways.
An internship is a program that allows a student to achieve on-the-job training for a white-collar and professional career. It allows the intern to get hands-on experience of the type of field they want to enter. Commonly, interns are college students; however, they can also be high school students or post-graduate adults. Internships require a student to work either full-time or part-time with a company or corporation in exchange of training or pay. Internships can be paid, unpaid or partially paid (i.e. in the form of a stipend). Paid internships are common in fields such as medical, architecture, science, engineering, law, business, etc. An internship can last anywhere from 6-12 weeks and can be part-time or full-time.
There are two types of internships in the United States: Work experience internship and Research Internship. Work experience internship allows students to get a hand’s on experience and allow them to utilize the skills that they have learned in school. Research internships are often done in the final year of college and require students to do research for a particular company. Internship is also beneficial to companies as they can effectively train a person without having to pay them a full salary. Also, they can easily hire the person once they finish graduation. Internship also allows the student to see if the career they have chosen is the right for them or to build a network of contacts.
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of people and passing on a set of skills to them. Apprenticeships are mostly found in craft or trading jobs, which require heavy training under a skilled and licensed professional. Many jobs such as carpentering, thatching, plumbing, etc. require a hands-on-experience as well as industry knowledge from a person who has been in the field for a long time. Many students or protégés build their career from apprenticeships. Much of the apprentice’s training is done while working for an employer. The apprentice will learn and work with an experienced professional for a period of agreed time before they can start on their own. Apprenticeships can be paid and unpaid, many are often unpaid.
Apprenticeship can be dated back to the Middle Ages, where artisans and craftsman would take young adults that are skilled in such jobs and to start training them at a young age. They would often offer food, lodging and clothing in exchange of the labor that was provided to them. Artisan job included seamstress, baker, smith, tailor, etc. At the end of the apprenticeship, the young man would then be allowed to start service by themselves or become a part of the guild. Though originally apprentices would not attend school, these days apprenticeships are often done after the person has attained a degree. People who opt for apprenticeship already know that type of field they want to work in and are sure that they would not join any other field. Companies often hire apprentices as they are cheap and can be easily trained. They are also a good source of help since they have a little background knowledge about the trade.
Internship and apprenticeship are becoming high in demand by students as it allows them receive hands-on experience in the field of their studies. It also provides them with a chance to see the professional world and build a list of contacts by interacting with the professionals that they work with. These are often beneficial and really improve the résumé. Reference for Business states that, "Apprenticeship programs have proven extremely effective in smoothly transferring school-related skills to pragmatic workforce application."
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