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6 Best Alternatives To Internship


This article contains information on the 6 Best Alternatives To Internship.

6 Best Alternatives To Internship

Having just a degree on its own is no longer the real deal but years of experience. Companies take their pick from a pool of experienced applicants and graduates without relevant work experience can find the cards stacked up against them. You might be wondering how one can get work experience when the rate of unemployment keeps skyrocketing. Well, internship works the magic. However, sometimes getting internship placement can be challenging, hence leaving one in confusion.

But the good news is, if don’t have an internship lined up for the year? Don’t panic. There are other ways to have a productive summer break while building core skills, competencies and experience to boost your resume.

Read through to see the lined-up alternatives to internship.


1. Get a Job/Shadowing

This is usually the next alternative most people switch to after not being able to get an internship. With a job, you are able to learn the basic skills you would need when completing an internship: thinking quickly on your feet, customer service skills, and teamwork. Do not be selective when it comes to your summer job as each job role offers you a different skill and experience altogether. Another option is shadowing [1], as many jobs will allow you to shadow someone who is working in your desired career field. I want you to see this as a miniature internship.

2. Acquire New Skills

You can make use of your free time in so many ways, one of which is by learning new skills. The online world of learning has exploded massively in growth over the last few years, and presently there are so many free online courses that you can use to improve your resume and prepare yourself better for the working world. For instance, understanding basic HTML and CSS is a great asset for many positions, including everything from software development, UX, design and even writing content for the web. You can learn online through free websites as this is the best and easily accessible way to learn.

If you intend going into investment, learn everything you can about the stock market, start trading some shares and blog about your experience as a young investor.

3. Go Traveling

It could be a serious struggle applying for internships especially when you are unsure of the type of career you are interested in. Travelling can be a better way to give you some time to ponder on which direction you would like your career to move in, and it makes you more employable, too.

Family, work and other commitments could prevent you from being able to travel later in life, so if you have the ‘travel bug’ and are unsure about your career path, use your opportunity to fulfil this dream now!

4. Take Summer Classes

The learning process doesn’t have to stop because it’s summer. It never hurts to take one or two classes during the summer periods. This will allow you to either get headway or stay on track with your degree. The less classes you have to take gives you more chances during the school year, such as being able to study abroad or take on an internship.

5.  Begin Your Own Project

The best time to begin your own project is during summer. This shows employers that you are a self-starter. You can easily begin a blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or even a business. Let yourself begin a passion project. You never know what career opportunities can come out of it.

The summer is filled with so many possibilities. Go out and do something worth talking about and do yourself proud.

6.  Volunteering

If you really want to avoid an unpaid internship because you need some money, volunteering may not be the one for you. But if you can afford to work without a salary even for a little while, this could be a plus and work out a lot better than an internship. This is because what volunteering does not do for your bank balance, it goes some way to compliment the benefits it can have for your resume. Volunteering not only suggests that you are a compassionate, selfless person, but it also tells that you have got a good work ethic – after all, you have chosen to spend your time doing something productive and meaningful, despite there being no financial gain or incentive for you.

What is more, has to do with what you end up doing, volunteering could even teach you a lot more than an internship. If you are given the responsibility of leading a team or organising an event, you will almost certainly have gained more from volunteering than you would have from interning.


As the professional world continues to evolve, the six alternatives to traditional internships in 2024 present innovative avenues for skill development and career exploration. From virtual internships and shadowing  to volunteering and online courses, these alternatives offer diverse opportunities for individuals to gain practical experience, build a portfolio, and expand their network. By embracing these flexible and dynamic options, aspiring professionals can navigate the changing work landscape, acquiring valuable skills in a way that suits their individual preferences.

As we move forward, these alternatives demonstrate that traditional internships are no longer the sole pathway to meaningful career advancement, opening doors to a more inclusive and accessible professional development journey. So, instead of wasting ample time waiting for traditional internship placement, why not consider any of these options?


[1] Work shadowing. (n.d.). Prospects.ac.uk, from https://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/work-experience-and-internships/work-shadowing


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