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What is Work-Based Learning?

Work-based learning includes internships, mentoring, and apprenticeship. It's a way to test-drive a career.

Work-based learning is your chance to discover things you can't learn in a classroom. Get inside information about the career you're interested in, or simply get a taste of what it's really like on the job.

Why Choose Work-Based Learning?

  • Benefits to Students. Work-based learning can help students improve academically. It helps them learn how the things they learn in the classroom are connected to the real world. It's also a great way to explore career options.
  • Benefits to Schools. Work-based learning can improve student motivation, attendance, and graduation rates. It can also improve the school's relationship with the community.
  • Benefits to Employers. Work-based learning helps employers reduce their recruitment and training costs. It also helps them hire better-prepared employees who understand workplace expectations.

What's Stopping You?

Don't let any of these common myths about work-based learning keep you from trying it out:

  • I'm too old (or too young). There are at least a dozen different types of work-based learning, with choices for adults as well as youth (generally aged 16 and older).
  • I won't get paid. Some opportunities are unpaid or volunteer, but all apprenticeships and certain internships come with a salary.
  • I'm a student, and I'm already too busy. Students can often earn course credit for work-based learning, so you may be able to do two things at once.
  • I'd have to commit to something long-term. Some work-based learning opportunities are formal and last for years, but just as many are informal and last only a few hours.
  • I'm already working, so what's the point? Think outside the box about work-based learning. Even if you're already working in your dream job, you may still benefit from experiences like mentorship or a practicum.


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