Internships and Apprenticeships: 5 Interesting Differences You Need to Know

Internships and Apprenticeships: 5 Differences You Need to Know!

What are internships and apprenticeships? What are the necessary differences between both of them? How do I qualify for apprenticeships and how are they more or less beneficial from internships? How do I choose between an internship and an apprenticeship? When is it a good time to pursue an internship or an apprenticeship and how do I compare from other applicants? Do you often come across such questions in your life? If so, then this is the perfect place to know the major differences between an internship and apprenticeship and how to make the correct decision to pursue either of them during your academic tenure.

Internships and Apprenticeships : 5 Interesting Differences You Need to Know!

Internships and Apprenticeships: All Things You Need to Know!

Internships refer to working opportunities in organizations and industries at an undergraduate and postgraduate level. These opportunities primarily involve training students in relevant industry related skills such as research, planning, management, software operation, teamwork, leadership, presentation as well as other industry specific skills. By considering to enroll in different internships, one can essentially experience the environment and decorum that is specific to a typical workplace and by being held accountable and answerable for any given task that one needs to perform as a trainee or an intern. By proving one’s abilities as an intern while parallelly pursuing college education gives one maximal exposure to prove themselves in the professional sphere. Internships last for a duration of 2-3 months to that of 1 year depending on the company policy and specific requirements of the work profile.

Most people also pursue internships in organizations and firms that are owned and operated by their family members and close associates in order to receive maximal support and exposure for professional work. Many college courses often involve a compulsory component of internships

Why is it Important to know Differences between Internships and Apprenticeships

It is important to know the key differences associated with internships and apprenticeships, in order to avoid making any kind of mistakes while applying for either of them and getting potentially disqualified or eliminated. Most students who are freshmen or have just initiated their education in colleges/universities should ideally apply for internships since those train them in specific skills/interests that are ideally suitable for specific industries and sectors and are shorter in duration than apprenticeships. On the other hand, apprenticeships are training programs that are meant for those actively looking for white-collar jobs and positions in reputed organizations. Apprenticeships have a greater potential of transforming into full-fledged job positions and run for longer durations of 2-4 years. While internships might be of either paid or unpaid nature, apprenticeships involve fixed salaries throughout their entire duration and are fixed based on the individual’s overall potential. Apprenticeships are not the most appropriate options for incoming graduate students or those simply looking for work experiences to fulfill their college course requirements.

Duration and Time Commitment for Internships and Apprenticeships

The duration and time commitment for both internships and apprenticeships differ based on their specific nature and objectives involved while offering them to a given candidate. Internships in general are offered to candidates for shorter durations ranging between 3 months to that of 1 year. Most colleges/universities also offer internships in their internal departments and divisions as well as help collaborate with organizations and industries run by their close associates and alumni. Internships are designed in a manner that include training students in multiple skills relevant for a specific industry and are not rigorous and extensive as a matter of work but they do provide students with the necessary experience required while entering the professional sphere. Internships vary from industry to industry and involve flexibility of working from home, hybrid working involving working from office and home in a combined format with designated days for each and also part-time working formats.

On the other hand, apprenticeships run for longer durations ranging from 2-4 years and are meant for experienced individuals seeking white-collar jobs in specific industries. Apprenticeships are fully paid and are organized based on the overall experience of an individual. Freshers and newly graduated students are not the ideal candidates for apprenticeships since their experience is not adequate to qualify for apprenticeships. Although, some apprenticeships might consider freshers based on their potential, available experience and educational qualifications. Apprenticeships have maximum potential of transforming into full-time job positions based on the overall performance of the candidate throughout its duration. Most apprenticeships require candidates to commit for full-time responsibilities involving working from office as opposed to internships that might not require full-time commitments.

Objectives and Eligibility Criteria for Internships and Apprenticeships

There are major differences between the objectives and eligibility criteria of internships and apprenticeships. While apprenticeships are primarily intended to provide individuals with the rigorous experience and research exposure necessary for certain white-collar jobs, internships are meant for students and individuals who have just entered the professional sphere and aim to pursue some profession at a particular point but are not primarily looking for a full-time job position while applying.

Apprenticeships are introduced with a major objective of transforming the individual into a full working professional with the necessary skills and experiences expected from an experienced employee of a reputed organization. Most apprenticeships offer full-time job positions in the same firm based on performance during its running period and involve exposure to complex technologies, influential and ambitious individuals, as well as a strong adherence to work ethics and professional practices. Contrastingly, internships are not necessarily oriented towards transforming the work experience gained by the individual into a full-fledged working opportunity.

Internships generally accept individuals who are students and require professional experience and training in a given sphere. Most undergraduate and postgraduate students are eligible to apply for internships and only some specific internships require proficiency and acquaintance towards some specific software operation, technical skills as well as other industry specific skills.

On the other hand, apprenticeships do require acquaintance and proficiency in specific skills since they are meant for individuals seeking permanent positions in organizations and firms. Freshers or inexperienced individuals are immediately disqualified in internships.

Responsibilities and Expectations for Internships and Apprenticeships

Individuals are given different kinds of responsibilities as interns and apprentices. The expectations that organizations pose on both interns and apprentices are also quite different.

Interns are primarily hired as trainees and are persistently instructed and tutored to perform and practice certain tasks and responsibilities in the organization. Since these individuals largely come as inexperienced students and fresh graduates, they are not given rigorous responsibilities that are ideally provided to permanent employees in the organization. They are hired to assist seniors and learn important skills as temporary employees of the organization. At times, if interns make mistakes under a given task, they might be considered harmless and inconsequential since they are primarily in the training stage.

Contrastingly, apprentices are hired as trained professionals who possess existing knowledge and skills that are relevant for the initiation and implementation of specific responsibilities that are assigned to apprentices. Since an apprentice is hired based on existing experience available in their resume and they are expected to show ability and prowess in certain technical as well as organizational and inter-personal skills, their mistakes might be heavily consequential to their career and they might not be able to get full-time positions for the job they are seeking by means of becoming an apprentice. Apprentices are not usually trained or assisted in their respective jobs and they are expected to work productively, handle multiple tasks at the same time and unleash their full potential by proving themselves to be able candidates for permanent positions in the firm. Unlike interns, apprentices handle complex tasks that require skills and proficiency in different techniques and operations. Therefore, they need to show maximal potential in order to prove themselves as apprentices.


There are several differences involved when one considers internships and apprenticeships. Both of them involve different commitments, responsibilities, duration, expectations from candidates and different nature of work. It is important to consider the various aspects mentioned in the above topics in order to make an appropriate decision about whether to consider an internship or an apprenticeship by checking and assessing one’s eligibility criteria, job prospects, career objectives as well as specific working abilities before applying for either an internship or an apprenticeship.


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