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Internship and Industrial Placement

Please cite as follows: Chan, CKY (2015). "Internship and Industrial Placement", Engineering Education Enhancement and Research Asia (E3R Asia).


Many universities organize internship and placement for their engineering students as part of their undergraduate learning.

Internship and placements are work experience obtained during the undergraduate years. Generally speaking, both internships and placements serve the purpose of providing students work experience. However one may wonder whether internship and placement are the same or different? In fact, a small number of universities distinguish the two terms while other universities may use the two terms interchangeably.

University like the University of Hull (Goodhall, 2013) considers internship and placement to be the same, whereas at the University of South Australia (UniSA) in Adelaide (UniSA, n.d.), internship and placement is categorized by the level of supervision, the duration and the tasks undertaken.

For the purpose of our engineering education website, we will consider internship and placement to be the same. 

Although the organizations of internships and placements are often done by the university’s career services office, faculty and department, students may also organize the internship or placement themselves. Both internships and placements provide students an opportunity to gain valuable working experience in the field that they have chosen and enhance their prospects for employment before graduation.