The work experience required for many professions can read more like a "wish-list" than a professional summary of job requirements. Job typically require highly specific skills, industry background, and technical knowledge. How do you gain employment experience if you have little or none? Educational programs, unless highly specialized, no longer tend to be enough without practical experience. An employment guide
will typically list internships, volunteering, working abroad, apprenticeships, and freelancing as ways to gain professional skills for the workforce.
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Work experience is an essential selling point to include on all resumes and job applications. Without this, many younger people might leave blanks in their job applications, but they should not. It is important that as a young person, or someone applying for a new career field, you include anything and everything which could be considered experience.
Work experience can be both paid and unpaid, volunteer and internship. Internships are usually structured programs, often through a school or university, and generally occur towards the end of an individual's course of study. Most opportunities like this are unpaid, though sometimes result in academic credit or serve as part of a practicum section of a course or process of licensure. The purpose of such experiences is generally twofold: first, to introduce the young student or professional to the real world application of their field of study; and second, to help both the student and the prospective employer get a sense of the student's general ability level and work ethic.
Some fields require such internship experiences whereas others only recommend them. Sometimes companies even have the resources to sponsor the student for the last year or two of school provided they agree to work for a time for the company upon graduation. Even for those students who don't have a job waiting for them when they graduate, the internship experience can be a critical introduction to their chosen field or discipline and are often an invaluable source of practical experience, professional networking, and mentor-ship opportunities.