Internship vs Entry-Level Job: Which one should you choose?

5 min read

Education & Career Trends: May 30, 2023
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GP

Before taking a decision, try to weigh the pros and cons of both, and align them with your long-term career plans.

Excerpts are taken from an article published on

If you are a recent graduate, you might be dealing with the dilemma of choosing between an internship and an entry-level job. Both these options can facilitate your transition from college to the workforce but in two absolutely different ways.

While entry-level jobs do give the individual a sense of financial security, they obligate you to excel in several roles and responsibilities without offering much scope for errors. On the other hand, internships don’t help you much financially but they ensure a valuable learning experience that further assists in landing incredible full-time jobs.

How to pick the best option for your future?

Before taking a decision, try to weigh the pros and cons of both, and align them with your long-term career plans.


Internships are well-crafted short-term programmes where candidates join an organisation for a few months as interns to seek professional development. During this period, they get the exposure to understand the “whys and hows” of the industry they wish to enter.

Besides assisting the employees, interns also get to participate in meetings and contribute their bit to the success of projects assigned to them. Above all, they get to assess which area of work or role is the right match for their vision, goals and ambitions.

Pros of an internship
  • Skill development – An internship provides a great learning opportunity to anyone planning to enter an area of employment. It assists in brushing up your raw skills — both soft and field-specific. Besides, you get to test your abilities, which further makes it easier for you to identify your areas of improvement and refine them. Consequently, you step into the professional workspace as a highly skilled and talented employee.
  • Vision clarity – Internships can benefit those unsure about their career field. By working in an organised workspace and engaging in real-time projects, you get clarity on whether you should continue in the same area, switch to another, or remain in the same field but take up a different role.
  • Networking – Every internship, whether paid or non-paid, does offer numerous networking opportunities. By interacting with other interns, employees and industry experts, you get to widen your spectrum of knowledge and build a solid professional network. This can make it easier for you to use your contacts as references for future job vacancies. Also, their valuable experience can teach you to navigate the various obstacles you are bound to encounter in your professional journey.

Entry-Level Jobs

Just as the name suggests, an entry-level job is a full-time vacancy available for fresh graduates who have no job experience. These jobs act as stepping stones for advancing in your career by enhancing your technical, transferrable and communication skills. In addition, each entry-level job comes with its own set of requirements – some require a college degree, whereas others value little work experience.

There are also a few that only focus on the kind of skills you possess and your willingness to hone them.

Pros of an entry-level job
  • Fixed pay and employee benefits – Unlike internships that are usually unpaid, entry-level jobs promise a fixed monthly payment to help you become financially stable. An entry-level position introduces you to many employee benefits, including medical coverage, incentives, travel allowance and provident fund. If you join a large corporation as a beginner, you might also be offered equity stocks. These stocks make sure you grow along with the company.
  • Growth-oriented – Entry-level jobs are usually considered educational opportunities for freshers to learn and grow in a specific field. This is why they emphasise your overall professional development. In addition, their learning environment enables you to ask questions, make mistakes, and improve while executing your day-to-day tasks. Not to forget, experts constantly train you to shape you into an asset for any company.
  • Possible promotion with performance – Managers are always on the lookout for promotions. Your dedication towards your entry-level position and zeal to grow can make it possible for you to get a promotion. This implies that you wouldn’t require additional qualifications or references to apply for a higher position in a new company. Your performance can do that for you.

To make an informed decision, consider these tips:

  1. Speak with a few experienced individuals from the industry you wish to enter. They might offer a valuable piece of advice
  2. Research which is the most suitable way to grow in your career field – internship or entry-level job
  3. Assess your financial position to figure out if you can afford an unpaid internship
  4. Approach a certified career counsellor to find out which option can align perfectly with your long-term goals and ambitions

The answer lies in assessing which option can support your personal and professional goals in the best way possible.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Some important tech skills and why you should acquire them

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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