The word “Practicum” sometimes is misplaced as an internship because both have the same result, which is helping the student gain exposure outside the college. Both also help students practice what they’ve learned in college and meet other students who are just like them.
Practicum is defined as a training system for students to help them practice in a limited way, what they have learned in college. Here, it’s more of the documentation and observation of what is being done in the working environment; under strict supervision.
The students are strictly supervised by the professor and given assignments on what you learned during the advanced teaching hours.
How long is Practicum Experience?
Practicum is not long compared to internship. Its almost about the same number of hours you spent in a regular college time.
Is it paid or unpaid?
It is generally an unpaid program because it doesn’t require much work when compared to an internship. It’s more of understanding what the professor explained in class, so there is no much work needed in the Practicum experience.
Benefits of Practicum
- You create networks and connections with professionals in your career field of interest or even in others.
- You learn to work under strict supervision.
- There is exposure to the labor market and how it runs effectively.
Difference Between Practicum and an Internship
What are Internships?
An internship is a short-term introductory professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work of a certain profession to the intern.
How long are Internships?
Internships, as defined as short-term, can last for about a few weeks, months, or a year. It may be part-time or full-time.
Is it paid or unpaid?
Internships are both paid and unpaid, depending on the one you get. Although while working as an intern in a company without payment, you can get stipends to help cater for yourself on transport and feeding.
Workflow of Internships vs Practicum:
The workflow of internships is more than practicum. As an intern, you work just like a staff in the company, understanding the dos and don’t of the labor market and the pressure that comes with working under a boss.
You will understand customer service and the right ways to talk to a client. On the other hand, companies tend to reduce the workload of interns because they don’t receive payment as much as staff in the company.
Report of Internship and Practicum:
At the end of the program, the student needs to submit a report of the internship which includes the name of the company, location, department that the student worked in and the things learned during the program. This is similar to practicum but that of an internship is broader.
Even before the submission of the IT report, an academic advisor/counselor from the college comes to the IT venue to check up on the student and know how well the student is performing. Also, as proof that the student is going through an internship.
Benefits of Internships over Practicum:
- A paid internship earns you a paycheck, and you could use the money for those extra spending you do, or you save it for college.
- It strengthens your college applications as it will show your commitment, dedication to learning, and also show the valuable skills you have acquired. This will make your application different and set apart from the others.
- An internship gives you firsthand experience of real-life and its challenges exposing your strengths and weaknesses. It allows you to experience different working environments and enable you to choose what career suits you.
A practical example of Internship vs Practicum:
An intern working in a medical field can evaluate a patient, take a record of the complaint laid by the patient, and report to the doctor but in Practicum definition, the student is taught all these, with little practice, but with more understanding of the process.
Practicum and Internships are worth the time spent on them. They help you gain massive exposure to life outside college. Also, still allowing you to go back to college to learn more skills before you graduate.
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