While a college degree is essential for many careers, real-world work experience for online marketing students is also important. Many employers value a candidate’s experience as much as their education, even for entry-level roles. Not only can marketing student gain hands-on skills through an internship or sales job, but they can also begin networking and building professional relationships that can help with a future job search.

Marketing Internships

A major way to get the real-world work experience online marketing students need is to work as a marketing intern. Marketing interns perform a number of different functions, including administrative support duties, research on competitors and consumers and contributions to creative projects, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Most online marketing degree programs don’t include an internship experience as a graduation requirement, according to U.S. News & World Report. While not requiring online students to perform in-person internships adds to the convenience of distance learning, the practice may not give students their best chance at securing the most sought after jobs. For that reason, many degree programs encourage real-world work experience opportunities for online marketing students – and some schools do require field work. For example, Rasmussen College, a top affordable online institution, mandates that all online marketing students complete an internship.

Other ways to attain real-world work experience for online marketing students include finding a job in sales. While working in retail will not itself equip you with the skills you’re likely to need to succeed as a marketer, it does offer you a strong background in understanding the sales process and interacting with customers and consumers. Some students also gain valuable experience through extracurricular activities, like holding leadership roles in clubs related to business and marketing or becoming a journalist for a school newspaper or magazine.

How to Find a Marketing Internship

One way you can find a marketing internship is to check with your school. Even schools that don’t require internships often offer resources such as internship and job listings for students who want to gain experience. Some schools may even hold traditional or virtual internship and job fairs. You may also ask your instructors if they are aware of any opportunities, since there’s a good possibility that may have professional contacts in the field of marketing.

Of course, you don’t have to limit your search for an internship opportunity to options your school or instructor is aware of. You can also search for opportunities on your own using job search websites or simply reaching out to companies for which you would like to work as an intern.

However you go about attaining relevant work experience, you’re likely to find the endeavor is well worth the effort. Real-world work experience for online marketing students is so important because experience – and professional contacts – can help you get the job you’re looking for or advance to a higher level position.

Related resource:

Top 10 Colleges for Affordable Online Marketing Degrees