Internship vs. Externship

In today’s job hunting climate, a school internship may be the trick to a painless transition from fresh graduate to a new hire. However, there’s another sort of on-the-job learning opportunity that fewer pupils know about: the externship.

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Internship vs. Externship

Today I will give you a full summary of the differences between an internship and externship, the reasons why you may want to have an externship, the way you can get one and, most importantly–how an externship can help you land a future occupation.

Comparison Chart

Meaning An internship is a formally organized program for the freshers to get a real-life experience of a job or profession. An externship is a program organized by the educational institution, to present a brief real-life experience for the pupils in the course chosen by them.
What is it? On the job training Learning with expertise
Concept To provide interns with firsthand experience. Job shadowing
Monetary thought May or may not be awarded Not given whatsoever
Duration Over a month Few days just
Intensity More Comparatively less
Academic charge Given Not Provided
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What is an Internship?

Unless you have spent the past couple of years of your school life with your head buried in an analytical chemistry textbook, then you are probably familiar with the fundamentals of internships.

Internships typically last eight months or more, often during summer breaks. An intern functions within an organization’s team, working against deadlines, performing the jobs, and receiving hands-on experience exactly like other employees. Frequently interns have compensated like regular workers also.

What is an Externship?

An externship is a brief (usually a week long) working experience, where the extern shadows a working professional to watch and receive a preview of the daily activities required for the career.

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Externships are much shorter, usually lasting just a day or up to a week. This makes them more flexible than internships since it is possible for a student to complete an externship in a spring or winter break.

Considering that the time is abbreviated, typically externs learn through observation and are not expected to carry out any work tasks. Consider it like a shadowing opportunity than a project. You find the actual equipment and practical techniques used by professionals in their daily work. As such, externships aren’t typically paid.

Why Do an Externship?

Nowadays finding a job right out of college takes a bit more savvy than it used to. Few ways are given below  how an externship can help you:

  • An externship shows enthusiasm for you to chose the career that makes you more likely to get the job you want.
  • Getting involved in an externship can be a stepping stone to a longer-term internship or job, especially if you’ve got your sights set on a competitive business or business like Facebook or Google.
  • A short externship can help you build your network for your future employment application process, especially if your list of LinkedIn connections is somewhat short.
  • You also get the opportunity to ask working professionals queries which you likely would not be able to in a different context. That could give you an invaluable insider’s perspective of the realities of an organization or profession that will help you in deciding if it is a direction you genuinely want to pursue.
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In summary, consider an externship as a fast and effortless way for you to obtain information about your planned career before making major decisions which will change your entire future.

How Can You Obtain an Externship?

Externships are far more casual than internships. You can not find externship listings on job boards.

Your school’s career services advisor may be able to assist you in securing a placement, but finding an externship could be as straightforward as working your community: family friends, your parents’ work colleagues, or leaders in your area might have the ability to connect you to those who are employed in your area of interest.

Examples of Externships

Now that we have looked at what externships are and why and how to get one, let us take a look at a few examples of actual externships and how they can assist you.


Extern and intern responsibilities vary tremendously. Some externships are more like short term job shadowing, allowing students to watch professionals on the job. Others are hands-on and functional and continue for several weeks. Since they typically run longer than externships, internships are usually a blend of observing and learning from professionals and hands-on expertise. In legislation and a few other industries, the responsibilities and adventures of externs and interns are indistinguishable and the terms could be used interchangeably.

Pay and Job Prospects

Whether externships or internships are paid or not changes. However, shorter-termed programs–typically externships–and those carried out using a non-profit are not as likely to be paid. One of the longer-termed programs, approximately 48 percent are unpaid.

In America, unpaid internships are becoming more common recently, leading some to question their value and legality, particularly when interns are delegated tasks unrelated to their future career (e.g., cleaning, running errands). Since 2010, there’s been a wave of lawsuits and settlements surrounding unpaid internships and if they violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. The site Unpaid Interns Lawsuit is devoted to these legal efforts.

The value of internships — paid or unpaid — is hard to measure, with unique studies sometimes turning up vastly different outcomes. However, there are some universal truths, so far. Far fewer outstanding interns than paid ones report their experiences resulted in a future job offer.

College/University Credits

Some externships and internships are coordinated through a university or college, which might or might not offer course credit for the application. Short-term programs are less likely to get credits than long-term applications.

Many schools require students to cover their credit hours through an internship, such as during summer internships. This can be quite costly for those whose externship or internship is already outstanding.


Typically, externships are shorter than internships. Externships often persist for a week to a month, while internships last for a few weeks, to a month, or more. Internships coordinated by universities usually last for a semester (i.e., about a couple of months).

For some professions, longer externships or internships can be useful. A study of dental externships revealed that students felt more confident and were more effective after a 10-week externship than after a six-week externship.

Key Differences between Internship and Externship

  1. An internship is a temporary training offered to the novices, to give them practical experience about the work life in the job. The externship is a quick training arranged by the educational institution to offer a real-life experience for the pupils, in the various fields selected by them.
  2. At the internship, the interns receive a hands-on job experience of the job; however, in an externship that the externs behave as a shadow of a professional, that doesn’t offer much practical experience.
  3. An Internship is on the job training, while externship is a type of learning experience.
  4. An internship is extremely intensive, but externship isn’t.
  5. In general, an internship is a period of 2-3 months While, the length of the externship is less than a month.
  6. At the internship, an intern learns and earns at precisely the same time, which isn’t possible in the event of the externship.
  7. In internship credits are given for the courses an intern selects that isn’t given in the event of the externship.


Internship and Externship are beneficial nowadays, in building an individual’s career. It gives guidance in addition to knowledge to the novices. Furthermore, it’s an excellent chance for pupils to apply their theoretical knowledge, which they’ve learned during their schooling. With the support of these two, the interns or externs gets practical exposure in the career path chosen by them.

Explanatory Video

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