What internships are available with a health sciences degree? With different aspects of the healthcare industry clamoring for new interns and professionals, it’s important to know what kind of options are available for students who need an internship to make the requirements for graduation. And with the news hitting that out-of-pocket health costs are hitting the poor and elderly, students now more than ever need real-world experience in order to make a difference in the industry. Here are four areas where internships can be found in the healthcare industry.

Resource: 15 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Health Sciences Degrees 2016-2017

Health Systems

With an undergraduate or graduate degree, students in the field of health sciences will find a variety of opportunities in health systems. These are hospital and clinic systems, generally presided over by a board that is connected to a university, that requires interns in almost every capacity within the healthcare industry. They are available in every major city in America and often have rural branches where students can serve as interns. Students can find opportunities in health systems by discussing it with their department advisor or by perusing the job board of the largest health system in their area.

Non-Governmental Organizations

Non-governmental organizations, known as NGOs, often have internships available for students with this educational background. Because these organizations are often funded by donations and work in various parts of the world, they need interns who can work at minimum wage, will travel and need the experience in the field in order to get a job. By working with NGOs, then, students can get a feel for how healthcare works in the field, both at home and abroad, and allows them to understand how the industry affects real people. Many of these internships do require relocation for a short time, but it is an invaluable experience for any student interested in working in an international capacity.

Government Agencies

NGOs aren’t the only groups in the public sector that offer internships; government agencies do as well. The American government often posts intern positions through the Department of Health and Human Services, enabling students interested in working with the government on healthcare issues to get paid work experience in that capacity. Specialization within the programs is also available, including administrative and leadership roles. These positions tend to be competitive and fill up fast, so students are advised to apply as early for the programs as possible.

Private Practice

One of the best places to find internships is through private clinics and practices. While these positions tend to be unpaid or have a stipend, it’s a good experience for students who wish to have a career in private practice or as a consultant in the healthcare industry. Many of these positions aren’t advertised as highly as others listed in this article, so a good rule of thumb for students is to ask their advisor about these opportunities for the best references.

Healthcare is a growing industry that has a multitude of specializations and opportunities for students. It is up to them to figure out what section of the industry they would like to find an internship in. Now that students have a better understanding of what internships are available with a health sciences degree, the only thing left to do is research what opportunities are available to them in their area.