November 7, 2016
Types of Internships for Computer Science Majors
If you’re majoring in computer science, an internship is one of the best ways to explore career paths in the tech industry. In addition to learning on-the-job responsibilities, you’ll also discover what types of team dynamics best fit your style of working. As an intern, you’ll usually be paired with a more experienced engineer who will act as your mentor, giving you guidance on the technical aspects of your project as well as helping you to manage and execute it. While you don’t have to go into engineering just because you’re a computer science major, an internship will offer you the opportunity to see what the field is like and whether it’s a good fit for you. And because computer science majors are very in demand among employers, the internship is also likely to be very well compensated.
Here are the most common types of internships for computer science majors.
Front-End Engineering Intern
Back-End Engineering Intern
As a back-end engineering intern, you’ll be working with the data that powers a website or application and using programming languages like Python, Ruby and Java to connect the server, application and database. Similar to a front-end developer, your responsibilities will include writing code pertaining to your project and testing the code to ensure a robust finished product. You’ll also be responsible for debugging and figuring out which parts of your product are not working properly. In addition, you’ll most likely go through code reviews to make sure that you develop best practices and that you learn to work in an agile development environment.
Full-Stack Software Engineering Intern
As a full-stack engineering intern, you’ll be combining the best of both worlds by working on both front-end and back-end technologies, seeing how data flows through the application and how it’s transferred and displayed. By being actively involved with the technological components the customer sees and with the back-end data that powers the site, you’ll quickly develop an understanding of the different technologies and you’ll be able to implement optimizations to enhance performance. This is a great internship for anyone who wants to understand how to build a feature end-to-end.
Information Security Intern
Security is what protects every company’s confidential information. During this type of internship, you’ll be able to see the security challenges that companies face on a daily basis and to understand how to react in such situations. This type of internship is especially common in the healthcare and finance industries where information security is used to protect patient records and sensitive financial materials.
Mobile Engineering Intern
As a mobile engineering intern, you’ll be working with one or more types of mobile technologies to develop user-facing applications. Depending on what type of mobile technology you’re working with (iOS vs. Android), you’ll be using different types of code and potentially getting both front-end and back-end development experience.
iOS Engineering Intern
As an iOS engineering intern, you’ll gain hands-on experience developing apps that are specific to Apple. You’ll be using XCode, Swift and maybe even React Native to work on both front-end and back-end components of the app, thereby getting full-stack experience. Patience will be necessary as you learn the process of publishing to the App Store, which includes provisioning profiles, getting developer certificates and submitting apps once they’re developed.
Android Engineering Intern
As an Android engineering intern, you’ll work with a team to design and build advanced applications for the Android platform. Communication will be very important as you collaborate with cross-functional teams to define, design and ship new features. You’ll also assist with technical planning, development and systems integration on client engagements from the definition phase all the way to implementation. Critical thinking is essential in this internship since you’ll be analyzing requirements, wireframing and listing capabilities of related systems to propose appropriate solutions.
Product Management Intern
An increasingly popular type of internship for computer science majors is a product management internship. This involves working with a team of engineers to develop the strategy and roadmap of a specific product as well as to QA test the product. As a product management intern, you’ll also act as a bridge between the engineering and marketing teams, helping to do market research and come up with effective marketing strategies for your product.
Data Scientist Intern
If developing statistical modeling, segmentation, quantitative analyses and customer profiling sounds exciting to you, then you may want to intern as a data scientist. During this internship, you’ll learn how to build and deploy complex statistical models to generate powerful insights and predictions useful to the business. Part of your job will also be to discover new insights in order to best understand your customers by performing advanced statistical analysis and modeling.
Data Engineering Intern
As a data engineering intern, you’ll be collecting, storing and processing data and creating a system that will allow others (particularly data scientists) to analyze that data. Combining coding skills with an understanding of data science, data engineers create infrastructure for processing huge amounts of data, enabling data scientists to do their job more effectively.
Whether you’re considering a summer internship or an internship during the school year, taking on an internship will give you the experience you need to pursue a career in the technology industry after graduation.
Next, learn more about this college major such as What Is a Computer Science Major and Is It Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as When to Start Applying for a Summer Internship.
* This article was written in partnership with the team at Outco.