Virtual Internships for Online Degree Programs
Students across the country are increasingly choosing to enroll in online degree programs, and the advancement of technology has made it even easier for working adults to take the next step in their educational journeys. However, the benefits of new technology don’t just end with your college curriculum! Virtual internship programs are becoming a more readily-available opportunity for students that want to get real-life work experience without the hassle of finding job openings that fit into their already busy schedule.
So, what exactly is a virtual internship, and how does it work?
Traditional internships are an integral part of many different degree programs, and they are used as an avenue for students to explore real-world applications of the skills they are learning. Virtual internships are essentially the same thing – just done remotely from the comfort of your own home! Many businesses and industries around the country are increasing their use of virtual interns, and the benefits a student can get from these opportunities are invaluable when it comes time to search for a paid position after graduation.
To help you get a handle on this up-and-coming opportunity for students, we’ve put together the following information that covers top virtual internships for online students, as well as common questions we receive regarding this type of program.
Virtual Internships for Common Online Degrees
Colleges and universities across the country offer a wide range of different online degree programs to meet the needs of their students. While online courses offer incredible flexibility, some aspects of these degrees still require hands-on training in order to master the skills taught throughout the program.
There are virtual internships available in a vast range of industries and degree programs, and we’ll go over a few of the most common opportunities below:
Marketing is a growing field, and the competitive business market makes for high-paced, exciting career opportunities. If you are working towards your online degree in marketing, there are countless companies nationwide looking for talented interns that can work remotely.
Modern marketing is deeply invested in the technological aspects of our society, and this has made it an ideal field to look for virtual internship opportunities. Students who wish to increase their employable skills before graduation can find virtual internships involving social media marketing, content marketing, or working as a brand ambassador.
Business and Administration
There are many online degree programs focused on the business world – from administration and management to human resources or finances. While several schools offer these degree programs completely online, it can be incredibly beneficial to take the opportunity of working as a virtual business intern to master your skillset.
Virtual business internship opportunities may revolve around the following aspects of the business world:
- Public relations and outreach
- Data entry
- Customer service
- Content writing and blogging
While most internship positions are unpaid and temporary, there are companies that do offer paid business internships to students who want to work in a remote setting.
Writing and Journalism
Writing is an art, and students that are working towards completion of their online degree in writing, English, or journalism understand that the more you practice your craft, the better you get! Virtual internships in the field of writing give you the chance to hone your language skills while getting your foot in the door for paid writing positions.
Content marketing is a growing niche of this field, and lead generation companies are always looking for skilled individuals to help them create market-ready content to draw in customers. Blogging is also a popular way to build your writing skills, and there are several virtual internship opportunities available that give you the freedom to express yourself through writing while gaining valuable employment experience.
Start-Ups and Entrepreneurship
If you’re going to school with the long-term goal of owning your own business, it pays to learn from those who have already paved the way down the path of entrepreneurship! Start-up businesses, non-profits, and small businesses are often on a tight budget for keeping their company up and running, and many utilize the skills of interns.
For students working towards their online degree in Business with the intention of future self-employment, working with one of these small start-ups can be invaluable. During the course of your virtual internship, you may be responsible for everything from basic office administration to marketing or managing finances – giving you well-rounded experience that can be applied towards your future.
What you need to know about Virtual Internships
Traditional internships can be a challenge for students that have limited opportunities due to their location, schedule, or specialized field. Virtual internships solve this problem by opening up a global network of job positions that students can work in regardless of their current situation. While this might sound too good to be true, there are several important things that you need to consider before deciding that a virtual internship is the best way to complement your online degree program.
Below we will go over a few of the most common questions asked regarding virtual internships:
How does a Virtual Internship Work?
Understanding exactly what you are getting into when it comes to a virtual internship is essential to your success. There are a couple of different ways that students can get involved in a virtual internship program, and every company structures its intern’s responsibilities a bit differently. Internships are also generally a temporary position – with most involving a few months of commitment.
Typically, the first thing you need to do is land an internship that matches your skill set, degree requirements, and schedule. Once you have applied for and secured a virtual internship opportunity, communication is key! While you will likely have the chance to work on a flexible schedule from your own home, you will also be responsible for following company regulations and meeting the deadlines of the projects that are assigned to you.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Internships?
When it comes to virtual internships, there tend to be more benefits than drawbacks. Employers enjoy the ability to utilize talent from students across the country, and students have access to a far greater variety of opportunities than they would have with traditional internships.
Some of the benefits that students enjoy when working as a virtual intern include:
- Flexibility to take on an internship directly related to your future career
- Ability to increase time-management and organizational skills
- Understanding of a virtual work structure
- Development of professional skills and industry knowledge
- Potential for long-term employment after graduation
- Opportunity to work at a time that fits your schedule
While there are several advantages to working as a virtual intern while finishing your online degree, it is important that you take the time to find the right opportunity in order to ensure that the internship is a good fit for your future goals.
Where can I Find Virtual Internship Programs?
This is one of the top questions that we get from online students, and the answer can vary depending upon your school’s structure. An increasing number of colleges and universities are developing their own Virtual Internship Programs that help connect students with remote intern positions. To find out if this is the case with your school, the best place to start is by scheduling a time to discuss virtual internships with your academic advisor.
If your college does not offer its own virtual internship program, but you still need to complete intern hours to finish your online degree, there are several online resources that can be helpful. With a bit of research, you can find online job boards that are dedicated to locating skilled remote interns for a wide variety of industries. Many of these websites allow you to narrow the search by paid or unpaid internships and specific industries to make it easier for you to find the ideal fit.
Technology has changed the way that many students choose to complete their higher education, and virtual internships are a natural extension of our modern educational landscape. By eliminating the constratints of location, commuting, and traditional work schedules, virtual internships can be the ideal way for online students to take their skills to the next level before pursuing professional employment.