Like most technology-related majors, computer science is growing more popular with each passing year.
If you’re a computer science major hoping to secure an internship and gain more experience in the industry, there are some great tools you can use to get the internship you want. First, let’s cover some of the basics.
What is a computer science internship?
Computer science relies on technology and computer-based expertise to keep communication and processes flowing smoothly for all business types. While learning the basics during college is excellent, gaining some on-the-job training will help you put those academic skills into action in the real world.
Internships for computer science students are designed to showcases the tools you’ll need and the knowledge that matters to build a successful career. It’s also an opportunity to show potential employers what you’re capable of. When you want into an internship determined and able to tackle your assigned tasks, you’ll impress potential hiring managers.
How do you find a computer science internship?
There are so many ways to go about searching for an internship in a specific industry. Online tools like LinkedIn, Handshake, and GlassDoor allow you to search for keywords in one location so that you can narrow the search down. Choose from things like the industry, location, and even pay.
Your first step is to set up a great profile on LinkedIn (if you haven’t already done so) and start making connections with people you know. Whether it’s a professor you’ve studied under or a friend of the family, having connections on LinkedIn can help you land an internship without spending tons of time searching the internet.
There are several types of computer science internships. Figuring out which one you’d like most is one of the many reasons to get one. Here are a few to choose from:
- Front-End Engineering Intern
- Full Stack Software Engineering Intern
- Product Management Intern
- Data Science Intern
Tasks & Responsibilities of a Computer Science Intern
Like all internships, you’ll be assigned some core tasks that will prepare you for the basics in the field. Some of the most common tasks assigned to computer science interns include:
- Testing and debugging
- Testing systems
- Assisting with software deployment and development
- Supporting tasks for engineers
- Coordination of essential tasks
LinkedIn Profile Basics
Since you’re looking for an internship in computer science, you want to highlight any experience or education you have that would interest potential employers. Great experience to highlight on your profile for computer science includes:
- A solid understanding of programming languages
- Experience collaborating and working with other people
- Analytical skills
- Attention to detail
For instance, if you’ve taken computer science classes, experimented with debugging systems, or even coded an app for class — you’ll want to include these achievements on your profile.
Lastly, ask previous professors, supervisors, or mentors to leave you positive recommendations. If a future employer can easily see that you have fans, they’re more likely to put you at the top of the list.
Reach out to your career counselor or professor
If you’re taking classes associated with a computer science degree, you probably already know someone that works in the industry. You might not realize it! Reach out to previous professors and see if they know of any internship opportunities. Your professors are a great place to start and can be excellent references for making it through the competitive process.
You can also go to your college career counselor. Counselors at colleges work with companies nationwide to give students access to internships. They’ll know about any companies in the area that are looking for internships in specific departments.
When should you start your computer science search?
Companies have different deadlines for internships, but it’s always a good idea to apply sooner rather than later. Internships are highly competitive, especially in the computer science field, and the sooner you get your foot in the door, the more successful you’ll be.
Generally, it’s best to start applying for internships three to six months in advance. That way, you’ll come prepared with your school schedule, and they can work around your education.
If you prepare in advance for the intern search, you’re much more likely to be successful at finding one that suits your interests. Reach out to the people you know, write your resume, and put your best foot forward!