Apprenticeships and internships: What's right for me? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 14, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:16 AM, December 14, 2018

Apprenticeships and internships: What's right for me?

When it comes to choosing between an apprenticeship or an internship, the factors to consider are very straightforward. Knowing how each of the two works should do 90% of the job. But when you have to choose between two similar positions, the choice becomes a little more difficult.

The judgement should be done through a comprehensive process that leads to what is best suited for you.

Fixate on one: Apprenticeship or Internship

Is it a hands-on skill development platform you're looking for, in an organisation you want to work in? Or is it a position you want to assess yourself in, to see whether or not you're fit for it? With the former offered by apprenticeship and latter via internship, you have a host of options from which to narrow down from.

Weigh according to your field of studies

If you are nearing your graduation and plan on entering your nine-to-five job life soon, you have probably settled for apprenticeship. In this case, your options may vary depending on your academic discipline. In contrast, an intern may have the opportunity to consider all the departments of an organisation rather than having to choose one specific function, like HR or finance.

How much time can you allocate?

Here's where you need to segregate your choice on the basis of part-time and full-time requirements from the job. Expect apprenticeships to ask for full-time work hours, as they involve extensive all-hands-on deck kind of tasks. Internships on the other hand, generally employ students from various levels of college/university. So they tend to have the provision of both part-time and full-time work hours.

Apprenticeships, internships, and jobs are three different things

Apprenticeships are programs that are there to provide in-depth training for the work you'll be doing in the long-run, whereas internships place interns in a professional realm where they can figure out which career path they may want to pursue in the future.

When it comes to being appointed for a full-fledged job, a student in the 1st or 2nd year of university possibly wouldn't be given a permanent position, unless it's a job that doesn't require specialised knowledge. Given this disparity in the amount of responsibility you'll be imparted with in an internship versus in a job, the former definitely has a greater scope at helping you learn more practical and serious work.

The payment issue

Apprenticeships usually come with a reasonable pay, but there are both paid and unpaid internships. The factors to consider while choosing here are whether the company you're willing to intern in has a lot to offer not only in terms of company growth, but also personal development. Such internships usually come with other benefits and much more flexibility than paid internships do. If you are willing to sacrifice your time for a work experience that doesn't pay, make sure the learning experience and facilities it offersare worth it.

Summer, fall, winter: What's your season?

I don't know about you, but I definitely start questioning whether my sanity is still intact after a week's worth of Netflix binging at a stretch. If you have felt the same, why not keep in mind to dedicate the rest of the next summer/winter vacation to a more fruitful venture by signing up for an internship? Rafid Zaman Khan, who has worked as a winter intern at Lamudi says, “In Bangladesh, winter internships are more popular for doing full-time internships, which also makes them all the more competitive. Many major organisations give out winter internship opportunities, knowing the students will be able to commit better during holidays.”

Corporate or startup?

Internships and apprenticeships are offered by both established companies, as well as startups. Working for either comes with its own set of perks. Working for well-known companies will be naturally preferred, but often small companies come with big opportunities to learn too. Startups normally have smaller teams and a smaller budget. Startup employees have to pull their individual weights. So working for startups will likely have you working on impactful projects that will have recognisable outcomes and learning scopes, while working for big corporations will give you exposure and a bigger network.

Other considerations

Take care of issues like what tasks you will be expected to do once you are on the job. Apprenticeships provide thorough on-the-job training while internships impart entry-level administrative knowledge that involve tasks ranging from making photocopies to creating content for a business pitch. So knowing what type of work you'll be doing is essential.

At the end of the day, you will excel in a field you want to work in, rather than one you supposedly should be in. It is important for you to realise when to switch when you don't like a line of work, and when to hold on to it when you do. Be it internship, apprenticeship, or a job, it shouldn't need saying that your personal preference should get priority over everything else.


Eshanee is a junior at IBA, DU. She watches travel videos and saves whatever money she has left after eating junk food for travelling. Send her good vibes at

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