A lot of high schools students are looking to kick-start their careers early, but they’re not always sure how to do it.
Finding an internship program that’s best suited to your goals and the skills you already have can be of help, but it’s incredibly challenging, especially if you’re just starting out and you don’t know what you want to do in the first place.
Fortunately, there are many internship programs, but the best high school students internship programs provide students with real-world, applicable skills and on-the-job training they can use when they’re in college and beyond.
These 11 high school students internship programs are great options and also provide hands-on experience if you’re an ambitious student looking to beef up your resume.
What is an Internship?
An internship is a short-term period of practical training for academic credit. The role you fill can vary widely depending on your field of study and your university.
To some, an internship is simply a great part-time job at the lowest pay scale; to others, it’s a high school or college class requirement.
But here’s what those two perspectives have in common: An internship teaches you new skills, adds professional experience to your resume, and can launch your career in almost any industry.
For example, if you’re studying to be a doctor, you might spend some time shadowing a surgeon at a local hospital.
Many students are not getting hired after graduating, it’s not because they aren’t qualified for their jobs, but instead because they simply don’t have any experience.
Applying for an internship can get you some real-world experience while also allowing you to avoid getting stuck in a rut. If you did well during your intern role, you might get recommended to important connections or a job offer in your field.
11 Best High School Students Internship Programs
1. NASA Internships
If you have an interest in engineering, physics, or even just behind-the-scenes science operations and procedures, NASA is one of those internship programs that will make you wish school days lasted longer. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) offers many different internships for high school students.
The aim of this program is to increase the probability of students getting a chance to work in various STEM career paths while actively studying.
NASA Internships Requirements:
- Candidates must be a USA citizen
- Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- The minimum age requirement is 16 years student who’s a sophomore, junior, or a senior
2. Bank of America Student Leaders Program
Bank of America helps teens learn about career paths and gain valuable work experience through its 8-week paid Student Leaders Program.
Teenagers participate in structured activities, such as workshops and mentoring opportunities, with mentors from Bank of America’s internal leadership development program.
The company also provides students with information about college admissions and financial aid programs. Student Leaders also take part in quarterly service-learning projects in local communities across several US cities. The goal is to introduce students to new cultures and expand their professional networks.
Bank of America Student Leaders Program eligibility criteria:
- You must be in a junior or senior school
- Candidates must be legally authorised to work without sponsorship in the US
- Be a student of an accredited school and be able to fully participate in a non-profit organisation while working 35 hours a week
3. Adler Planetarium Internships
Adler Planetarium’s summer internship program gives Chicago High School students in-depth experience working with scientists, educators, engineers, and other professionals with the sole aim of preparing them for various career paths.
The six-week program offers hands-on experience in arts, technology, physical science, and advanced maths through a variety of activities. Mentors from several different areas work with interns to enhance learning opportunities and provide guidance on resume building, interviews, and networking.
4. US Secret Service Student Volunteer Program
The US Secret Service’s Student Volunteer Program recruits college students to learn about careers with federal law enforcement agencies through temporary employment.
Participants are assigned to a field office, where they support investigative efforts for a period of two or three semesters and work on projects related to their studies in criminal justice or another applicable field.
You will get assigned to one of four divisions available, either a special agent, uniformed division officers, technical law enforcement, or an administrative, professional, technical division.
5. Carnegie Museums Internships
Carnegie Museums is offering an unpaid internship in all of the four Carnegie Museums: Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Science Centre, and The Andy Warhol Museum.
They provide a valuable hands-on learning experience for students. The internships are offered year-round and include participation in collections, conservation, research, education programs, and special events.
Requirements include an ability to work independently, a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, and following instructions, as well as an interest in art history or museums.
6. Washington Performing Arts Internship
If you are interested in pursuing a career in performing arts, consider interning in this program. They offer a throughout-the-year internship program geared towards undergraduate and recently graduated students.
Washington Performing Arts Centre is a non-profit organisation that offers many programs, including choral education & performance, Mars Arts DC, and Cultural Diplomacy & Education as well as Communications & Creative Media program for high school students.
Eligibility criteria include being creative, hard-working, highly motivated, strong-willed, and special interest in arts management aspects.
As a volunteer intern, you’re eligible for a stipend of $500 after completing an average of 15 hours of work per week for 12 weeks minimum.
7. Microsoft High School Internship
If you have an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) fields and want to explore the computer science or programming world, consider applying for Microsoft’s prestigious High School Internships.
Each year, a few hundred high school juniors and seniors from 18 countries are selected to participate in one of these programs: Engineering & Software Development, Game Design, UX Design, Data Science, or Marketing.
Participants work full-time at Microsoft over two consecutive summers on real projects related to their fields of interest and will be supported to reach their career goal standards.
8. Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)
Google’s CSSI program is a 4-week online summer experience that immerses high school students who are passionate about technology in computer science by giving them a first-hand view of life as a computer scientist.
Students gain practical experience with various programming languages, fundamentals of computer science, computer systems and networks, database design, and other valuable lessons.
9. Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program
Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program offers a paid internship summer for high school students interested in fisheries biology. The program includes professional lectures, hands-on instruction, laboratory research, and an independent project.
This internship program is sponsored and backed by the American Fisheries Society (AFS) with the sole mission of stimulating interest in fisheries management and science careers, considering the fact that fisheries careers are underrepresented in today’s world.
10. Indiana University Summer Research Program
The Indiana University Summer Research Program is an eight-week internship program for high school students who are underrepresented and are interested in biomedical or behavioural sciences to gain first hand exposure.
This hands-on experience is a fun way to experience college life, gain hands-on research experience, and learn more about what a biomedical or behavioural sciences career could look like.
If chosen, you will be assigned to a research mentorship and get involved with computer data research, laboratory-based research, or clinical research.
11. Smithsonian Internships
The Smithsonian Institution is a massive research institution and museum complex that’s offering a hands-on internship in museums, research centres, and historic preservation sites in various fields of study, from zoology, business, public administration, science, and history to arts.
The Smithsonian is committed to creating diverse opportunities for all interns to learn about themselves and explore their creative potential.
You’re never too young to get started with your career. By taking advantage of as many internship programs as possible, you can help pave your way to success by putting yourself in a position to learn from and build connections with other professionals who are doing what you want to do someday.
If there are any school-based internships at places where you want to work, don’t pass them up. The opportunities available could be invaluable for your future.
Hope this list of the best high school students internship programs will help you find an intern program suitable for you. If an intern in your interest fields is not here, simply leave a comment about it below.