Internship programs should be implemented in high schools

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Gracie Ozburn | LTVN Reporter/Anchor

Growing up, I was told that college is the time to discover what we want to do with our lives. But why should we wait until then when it would mean taking out loans to pay for an education without any direction? High schools should offer internship programs to give students fundamental experience and to help them discover their passions and potential careers.

Choosing a major in college can be a lot of pressure, and many who rush into a decision hope they will discover their path along the way. Those students tend to not even use their degrees after graduation. Participating in an internship program before college could save them time and money and even help with self-discovery of strengths and weaknesses.

On another note, 60% of employers emphasize the importance of focusing on careers while in high school, and 90% of employers agree that doing so would give students a competitive advantage in college admissions and when seeking future jobs. These early work experiences would help establish a professional profile and would provide a level of assurance that could reduce stress post-graduation.

A survey with recent college students showed that 51% of them are not confident in their career paths when enrolling in college. This high percentage is concerning, especially when taking into account how much college costs without any scholarships, and many find themselves in debt for years after receiving their diplomas.

“There is no substitute really for learning about the world of work and being in the world of work,” former Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman said. “You can do that through internships. You can do it through summer job experiences or even from volunteer jobs in your local community. Strive early to get some kind of practical work experience.”

There is so much truth within this quote because nothing can replace the knowledge that students receive from hands-on experience. If given the opportunity through an internship, high school students could excel in preparing and finding their interests. The impact from a program such as this could change the trajectory of their career paths and benefit their futures.