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How does one (a high school student) gain real-life experience in the engineering field?

Hi, I'm a high school junior who wants a real-life experience/job/internship in the engineering field to help me understand the career more. How do I find opportunities?

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Subject: Career question for you

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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Charly,

Here's How to Acquire Practical Experience in Engineering as a High School Student

If you're a high school student eager to accumulate practical experience in the realm of engineering, here are several proactive steps to deepen your comprehension of this career and explore it further:

1. Pursue Internship Opportunities: Internships present an exceptional avenue to acquire direct experience in engineering. Numerous firms offer internships tailored for high school students. Begin by contacting local engineering firms, research institutions, or tech companies to inquire about internships. Websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn are also great tools for internship hunting.

2. Engage in STEM Programs: Involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs can offer you valuable exposure to engineering. Seek out local organizations, universities, or community colleges that provide STEM-related workshops, camps, or contests. These programs often incorporate hands-on projects and mentorship opportunities, helping you cultivate practical skills and knowledge.

3. Enroll in Engineering Clubs or Competitions: Membership in engineering clubs or participation in contests like robotics competitions, science fairs, or engineering challenges can be an excellent method to acquire practical experience and connect with professionals in the field. These activities enable you to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems and display your skills to potential employers or mentors.

4. Volunteer for Engineering Projects: Volunteering for engineering projects in your school or community is another method to acquire practical experience. Offer your help to teachers, local engineers, or non-profit organizations engaged in engineering-related initiatives. This direct involvement will not only enhance your understanding of the field but also exhibit your dedication and enthusiasm for engineering.

5. Job Shadowing: Job shadowing involves observing a professional engineer at work to gain insight into their daily tasks and responsibilities. Contact engineers in your network or local engineering firms to inquire about job shadowing opportunities. Spending time with seasoned professionals can offer you a firsthand glimpse of what a career in engineering involves.

6. Leverage Online Resources: Numerous online platforms and resources offer virtual internships, courses, webinars, and projects related to engineering. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, Khan Academy, and MIT OpenCourseWare provide access to educational materials that can enhance your learning and help you develop practical skills in various engineering disciplines.

By actively pursuing these opportunities and engaging with the engineering community through internships, STEM programs, clubs/competitions, volunteering, job shadowing, and online resources, you can acquire valuable practical experience that will deepen your understanding of the engineering field and prepare you for future career pursuits.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used in Answering this Question:

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE): The NSPE offers valuable insights into the engineering profession and resources for students interested in pursuing careers in engineering.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): The IEEE is a renowned organization committed to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. They provide information on educational opportunities and industry trends within the field of engineering.

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE): ASEE is dedicated to promoting excellence in education within the fields of engineering and provides resources for students exploring careers in engineering through internships and educational programs.

These sources were used to ensure accuracy and reliability in providing guidance on acquiring practical experience in the engineering field as a high school student.

May God bless you!
James Constantine Frangos.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! You don't know how helpful this information is. May God bless you too! Charly
Thank you comment icon OH YES THANK YOU MY PLEASURE TO HELP CHARLY. James Constantine Frangos
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Jocelyn’s Answer

Hello Charly, I'm interested in finding out if there are any STEM courses available at school or any after-school clubs that focus on this area.
Thank you comment icon Technology Student Associaton (TSA) is the only club at my school that's related to engineering and I am a part of it. I am currently taking a physics class which is the only class I'd say is close to this area. I plan on taking an Intro to Engineering course next year at my local university. That's about it haha. Charly
Thank you comment icon When you take your Intro to Engineering course next year I would definitely ask the professor if there any additional resources or curriculum that you can complete outside the classroom. Professors are great resources. I wish you the best of luck !! I am also sharing the link below as an additional resource - I hope you find it helpful. Access Your Potential Career Readiness and Digital Skills curricula are available to help you grow and discover what you want for your career. For more information: http://accessyourpotential.pwc.com Jocelyn Vergara
Thank you comment icon https://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/virtual-learning-experiences.html Jocelyn Vergara
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, I will ask my future professor for additional resources and also try that website out! Charly
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Angela’s Answer

Ask to volunteer somewhere. Call around your local town. Say you want to help and learn at the same time. Good luck
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Angela! Charly
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Ari’s Answer

Hi Charly! As most of the answers mentioned here, volunteering or participating in STEM Programs can be helpful, I may suggest also to search for local oppotunities, summer is close and probably there might be any summer camp events, check your library and ask around. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice! You gave me some ideas. I'll definitely look around. Charly
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