Will Remote Work Experience Trump the Standard Internship?

Tuesday October 11, 2016

Internships are designed to give inexperienced university students the knowledge they need in a work environment to effectively transition from academics to a professional career. So, if the biggest take away from your internship experience was learning the correct way to order drinks at Starbucks, consider yourself horribly underutilized.

There’s a big thrust behind giving young job seekers the remote work skills they’ll need to thrive. The future of work, in many ways, is tied up in the abilities of both on-site and mobile workers to collaborate on projects on a regular basis.

In most cases, this isn’t something that students learn in the classroom. Certainly, there are course projects that classmates may work on through email and chat, but most universities and colleges prize the in-class, one-on-one interactions that students and faculty get.

For young professionals, remote work experience may give their resume the extra boost that their run-of-the-mill internship does not. Here’s why:

Leveling the Playing Field

According to research from the Russell Sage Foundation, an estimated 70 – 75 percent of college students have had an internship before they graduate. This staggering participation rate is due to the increased weight that employers put on work experience even for entry-level candidates. What about your hard-earned GPA? Or how about that student research project? These types of experience increasingly play a supporting role to internships.

However, a major influencing factor in this conversation is the balance between paid and unpaid internships. In the grand scheme of things, there is a greater proportion of unpaid internships, which breeds a disparity in a couple ways. First, these roles are predicated on the fact that the intern doesn’t have to worry about money. Second, paid interns at private, for-profit organizations have a 72 percent likelihood of getting a job offer – compared to a 44 percent chance for unpaid interns.

This has led Forbes contributor and technology enthusiast Kavi Guppta to recommend remote work experience as an alternative to the standard internship

An Investment in the Future

The future of work is going to be increasingly dispersed, meaning talent from across borders and boundaries will be collaborating with each other.

According to Guppta, experience as a remote worker gives them the skill set to grow in the future – and in more and more cases, current – marketplace. The number of opportunities for remote work positions continues to grow every day, and many of these are entry-level positions that would give new graduates important experience. It demands an entrepreneurial approach to building your professional career.

In fact, you have to work differently than what most people are used to as part of the standard 9-to-5 role. For many of the most ambitious companies, having flexible employees who can work remotely is a key differentiator that allows them to be competitive in their market space.

Cartridge World provides an example of companies that understand the growth of the mobile workforce and its needs. By partnering with Samsung to develop PrintWorld™, a mobile printing application, Cartridge World is helping millions of on-the-go workers stay productive, efficient and secure. With a greater push for remote employee enablement and management, this tool and others like it are creating a smarter workforce.