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Internships not required for all majors, highly recommended

The part of a job description that may stand out and have students biting their nails when applying post-graduation is professional experience.

Students today are required to go beyond the classroom and obtain experience in their majors through internships or co-operative education programs. But that may be difficult when not all majors are required to have them to graduate.

“Majors that must have internships before graduation have them for a reason,” said Rodney Rogers, provost of the University. “We select the majors that are most practical to have experience upon their graduation.”

Some of the colleges at the University that are required internships or co-ops for credit to graduate are the College of Technology, Architecture & Applied Engineering, Education and Human Development, Health and Human Services, Arts and Science and business.

Alumnus Bryan Ferrer was more than thankful for his internship opportunity in college.

Ferrer, graduate of 2012, was a sports management major and was able to be an assistant during gym class at a high school nearby during his last semester at the University.

“It was awesome because I got real-world experience,” he said. “I think every major should require internships. It only helps.”

While it may not be necessary for all majors to get an internship, Rogers said every major is highly recommended to have one.

“They are extremely helpful and apply what students are learning in class to a real job,” he said. “They also can emphasize whether or not that is what the student wants to do for the rest of their life. If it is not, they will still have some time to switch majors or figure out what to do.”

Whether students are required to have an internship or not, they are encouraged to find one early on in their college career, especially between their sophomore and junior years.

The reason that some majors aren’t required to have job experience may be because there are not enough internships available.

“We want to help students search and get these jobs, but unfortunately there are some majors that just don’t offer them,” Rogers said. “The programs that have them though, we ensure that there are enough for every student in that major to obtain.”

Junior Matt Starace said he wished his major required one.

Starace, a computer science major, is not required to have an internship, but has classes with labs allowing him to practice what he learns in the classroom.

“It’s nice and all, but I feel like I have nothing to really put on my resume,” he said. “I also think I started looking [for internships] too late.”

While Starace and many other students may feel more pressure when job searching than those who have internship experience, Rogers said they are working on fixing it.

“We are working hard to provide more opportunities for everyone,” he said. “However, no matter what, I encourage all students to join organizations and apply for internships.”

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