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Why Parents Should Encourage Internships for High School Students

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Summer is the time for kids to have fun, relax, go to the beach and spend time with their friends. But summer doesn't need to be all about relaxation either. High school students, especially juniors and seniors, are coming to a point in their lives where they'll start thinking about a career.

Internships are the perfect choice for kids because it allows them to:

  1. Understand their skills. Computer programmers may be able to dabble in web development at home, but when an internship requires them to make a mockup site on their own and present it to the higher-ups in a business, it's an entirely different experience. Internships allow your kids to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and it also allows kids to fully understand their skills. Perhaps the intern went in front of the managers, presented the website and realized that she had a commanding presence as a speaker and would be a good fit for a leadership role.

  2. Gain industry knowledge. Kids may think they want to get into graphic design, managed IT services or become a lawyer, but 75% of college students change their major at least once. Internships offer students the ability to learn about the field, gain industry knowledge and utilize the skills they learn in their career.

  3. Build a network of industry contacts. Internships are a great way to meet professional contacts. Your child can use these contacts in the future when trying to land a job, and some of these contacts may even be references that your child can use.

  4. Possibly be hired. Internships may end up as full-time positions for college students. High school students may be able to land a part-time or full-time job, depending on the industry and position that they're filling. There's always the possibility of an internship turning into a job, whether it's out of high school or after college.

Internships are a way for kids to build up their confidence, too. Low self-esteem affects 75% of girls. Depression will impact 20% of teens before they reach adulthood. Internships build confidence and self-esteem, allowing teens to struggle less in their day-to-day lives.

Parents can encourage their children to take on an internship, or parents can also choose to enroll their children in internships.

What internships are available?

It really depends on where you live. A quick Google search will help you find opportunities, but there are also neat programs through:

You'll also find that Microsoft and IBM have internships available. Libraries and museums may have opportunities, too.

If you're having trouble finding the right choice for your child, you always have the option of asking counselors at school if they know of any internships. There are a lot of local options available that will be sent to counselors in the school.

All you have to do is ask, and they'll be able to supply you with a list.

These resources may also include job opportunities, so if your child is looking for a job, a counselor may be able to help.

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