Is an Internship Required to Complete an Online Business Degree?

If you are applying to take a distance education program to earn an online business degree, you should be sure to check and see if completing an internship is a requirement. Every business school that offers degrees online has its own graduation requirements, and it is not out of the ordinary for reputable schools, that are highly respected by employers, to require their students to get hands-on business experience before they are sent out to the real world. Read on, and find out more about interning and the pros and cons of choosing online programs requiring internships.

What is the Difference Between Credited and Non-Credited Internships?

Before reviewing whether or not business programs require you to complete internships, you should learn the difference between a credited and non-credited internship opportunity. When you complete internships for credit, you will be supervised by faculty or an academic sponsor to ensure that you are fulfilling all of the requirements. It is seen to be an academic experience, and you must get a certain amount of hands-on practice in addition to writing an essay or journal. In exchange for the time, you will receive credits. Many business schools allow you to complete up to four credits this way for each semester that you study.

If you complete non-credited internships, you will not receive any college credits for the time that you spend getting work experience. While these opportunities may or may not be paid, they do not have an academic requirement. Most students will complete these during summer or winter breaks. You are not limited in the number of non-credited opportunities you can take advantage of, but there may be minimum requirements with some schools before you will earn your diploma.

What Are Common Requirements for the Online Business Degree?

Online business programs often have the same requirements as traditional programs. Schools all across the country, both traditional and online, are pushing their business students toward completing internships, with many schools making internships a part of the graduation requirements. These requirements are referred to as pre-professional experience requirements, and are popular as more schools implement experience-based learning. The amount of time that you must complete interning might range between 6 weeks and 12 weeks.

Why Are Programs that Require Internships Beneficial to You As a Student?

Some students might initially see an internship as just another requirement sitting between them and their degree. While it is another requirement that will take more of your time during your break from school, it is one of the requirements that matter the most. Instead of searching for positions aimlessly after graduation, you will strengthen your chances of landing a position by strengthening your resume. Not only does the opportunity look great for marketability, you may also get hired full-time with the company you are interning for. You will, at the least, build business relationships and gain some career direction.

When you are looking into a business degree program, you need to look through the curriculum and the projects you will be asked to complete. Do not automatically cross a school with interning requirements off of your list. Assess the pros and the cons of completing this requirement and think about how it will affect your career prospects. If you do this, you may want to look for schools with online business degree programs that do require that internship you initially dreaded.