Externship vs Internship (How professionals differentiate both)5 min read


When work-related learning experiences are thought of, especially for college and high school students, internships come into mind. But, there are other ways of gaining such hands-on learning experiences that are less known, unpopular, but still valuable, and one of the ways is externship. In comparing Externship vs Internship, both may have the same concept but they are unique in their own way.

Externship vs Internship

What is an Externship?

An externship is a short-term work experience in which a student shadows a professional within their chosen workplace or industry to observe their day-to-day activities as well as see how they conduct their businesses.

What is an Internship?

An internship is a short-term introductory professional learning experience that offers meaningful, practical work in a specific profession to the intern.

Benefits of Externship

  • Externships offer students the opportunity to explore the features of a job in a company, industry, or firm to decide if they find interest or would love to work in such places. It is a quick and easy way to gather all information about a career you find interest in.
  • Externships are less stressful and time-consuming as externs are not assigned any tasks or projects but just shadow professional or expert in the workplace or field.
  • It offers the ability or possibility to partake in multiple externships to compare companies or career paths.
  • Externships create the possibility of getting an internship or a full-time job sometime in the future.
  • It is an added experience on your resume.
  • It creates networks and connections which may come in hand in the future.
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From our last article on Internships for High school students, here are the Benefits of internships:

Externship vs Internship

Benefits of Internships

Internships have lots of benefits especially for high school students. Here are a few of those benefits:

  • Gain more knowledge about a career or different career fields. This will help you make reasonable plans for your future.
  • You create networks and connections with professionals and people in your career field of interest or even in others, and this will come in handy in the future when you want to start your career or business.
  • An internship gives you firsthand experience of real-life and its challenges. It allows you to experience different working environments and enable you to choose what career suits you.
  • As an intern, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses, and this allows you to develop yourself professionally and personally. It helps you groom yourself, knowing what you need to change and improve, allowing you to have a head start in your career and self-development.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Extern vs Intern

An Extern is a student going through Extenship while an Intern is a student going through Internship.


Externship vs Internship: Diff between the two

The main difference between internship and externship is the nature of the experience. Internships offer hands-on experience, while externships are hands-off experience.

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Externships are typically unpaid as there are
no work tasks or projects attached.
Internships can be paid or unpaid depending on the industry or company.
Externships don’t usually attract school credits.Internship usually attract school credits for the work experience.
Externs don’t get assigned tasks. They just shadow a
professional or a group of professionals.
Interns get jobs, tasks, and projects assigned to them which they complete independently.
Externship is a means of exploring interests and careers.Internships act as a bridge between student life and professional life.
Externships are very short as they last from a day, weeks, to a month.
They can be done during spring or winter breaks.
Internships last from weeks, months, to a year.
Externs may shadow one or more people.Interns are usually confined or assigned to a particular department.
Externships allow the students learn and observe
at their own pace and independently and also gives
them the opportunity to see duties performed first-hand
hence making them a very clear picture of the activities and duties of the industry.
Interns are usually spoon-fed with information and are usually guided in their activities.

Externship vs Internship: Conclusion

The differences between internship and externship are not so different and are in some instances and fields used interchangeably.

Externships are short period work experiences used most times to gain expository insight about an industry or career. While internships are work experience opportunities used to get hands-on experience and knowledge in an industry or profession you are reasonably interested in and which you aim to pursue a career in.

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It would be better to do a number of externships in industries you might want to work in to get a clear picture or make a final decision about the career or industry that best suits you and are more interested in before doing an internship in that industry. This will give you a head-start in your career and also increase your skillset and make a good resume.

Awesome one, I hope this article helped you distinguish Externship vs Internship . Thanks for reading this article.


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