Work-based learning is more than just internships!
There are many types of career experiences that might make sense for your age or occupational/job interests. Some are more intense than others, and provide different ways of learning.
Work-Based Learning Opportunities
Job Shadowing provides individuals with an opportunity to spend time with a professional in a career
that is of interest to them. Experience a work environment in a chosen profession.
- Can be offered to middle and high school students, as well as to college students and adults
- Lasts from a few hours, day, or to a week
- Is an opportunity to experience day-to-day activities, interact, and interview professionals
within the chosen profession
Where can I find job shadow experiences?
If there is an employer that you are interested in call their Human Resources Department and express
your interest as a student in learning more about their industry and company. Ask if they would be open to
arranging a job shadow experience with you even if for a day.
An externship is a combination of a job shadow and internship.
- Last over small periods of time, ex. small school break, a day to 8 weeks
- Are usually given without school credit
- Are mostly unpaid
An Apprenticeship is an "earn while you learn" training model managed by a "program sponsor" that includes:
- Paid on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced journeyworkers with related classroom instruction to prepare individuals for skilled occupations
- Work as you complete classes; work schedule will be determined by respective employers
- A nationally recognized Certificate of Completion with the highly skilled "journeyworker" designation upon graduation
- A one to five years commitment, depending on the occupation
Apprenticeship helps you to realize your career goals by providing a great salary and long-term career opportunities.
Most apprenticeship programs require that you be 18 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED.
Steps to becoming an apprentice:
- Determine the trade/occupation you are interested in
- Contact the program sponsor
to inquire about minimum requirements for the program
- Complete the program sponsor application process
- Go through the interview and selection process
- If selected, sign an apprenticeship agreement and registration form acknowledging the terms and conditions of the program
to learn more about joining an apprenticeship program.
"Volunteering as a pathway to employment." Examples include
Peace Corps. Volunteering can be
very similar to an internship and offer some great perks including stipends and educational grants.
- Develop workplace skills
- Work on similar tasks and at similar capacities as an actual employee or intern
- Gain exposure to different communities and organizations, which could help an individual choose a certain
- Potentially leads to an internship or permanent job opportunity within the organization or through meeting
and networking with other volunteers and/or employees
- Usually unpaid, possible stipends for living and education
Recent research from the Corporation for National & Community Service has shown that:
- Volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers
- Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding employment
- Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55 percent higher likelihood of finding employment