The Significance of Internships for Engineering Students
Unemployment has plagued India for long. A more disturbing factor is the employability of the youth, which for the engineering graduates stands at an alarming 6%, according to the data published in 2018. This worrisome trend can be attributed to a lack of practical knowledge and the ever-widening skill gap.
Engineers are equipped with knowledge and experience in technological advancements and their contribution to the world is for all to see. Engineers have the power to transform the world for better or for worse. Their work can positively or negatively affect the humankind. It is here that ethical values provide a framework which functions as a guideline for engineers while rendering responsibilities. With great power comes great responsibility. Engineers ought to harness and invest their ideas and efforts ethically.
Meaningful internships address both the issues. Internships provide opportunities to exercise and update students’ skill-sets by deploying them in a real-time environment. AICTE, therefore, mandates internship experience as a prerequisite for employment.
Consequential value addition by relevant internships are as follows:
- Industry Readiness – An internship provides an opportunity to work on real projects, get acquainted with the current market trends, sharpen and learn the sought after technical skills. Additionally, an internship experience introduces students to the corporate world, mentors and trains to espouse professional ethics and soft skills.
- Employability - An internship experience endorses your skill-set and catalyses employability. Few internships culminate in pre-placement offers (PPO) for interns. A PPO is a job offer awarded to those interns, who successfully complete the internship and meet all requirements of the organization. Internships help to build a professional network which plays a pivotal role in career advancements.
- Exploring Options - Experiential knowledge opens up new career avenues and enables students to put things in perspective before determining their future course of action.
How to land an internship?
The university/ college placement cell assists students in landing internships Alternately, the students could utilize the following:
- Direct Application: Online research on companies that run internship programmes and apply for them, through the appropriate channel.
- Online Portals Register with internship portals offering online internships and apply for pertinent to the area of interest.
Paid Vs Unpaid Internships:
The primary concern of the students to take up an internship with the sole purpose of gaining experience, improving employability and expanding professional network. However, financially supporting themselves through an internship may prove to be a burden. Many organizations offer a stipend during the internship period but not all. Stipend, however, should not be the determining factor for a student’s decision about undertaking an internship, particularly: if the choice is limited or when there is a brand pull or the offer is accompanied with rich learning outcomes. The student must take informed and intelligent decisions, in this regard, so as to not lose out on the rich dividends, that an internship will pay in the long run.