Career Center | Students | Internship vs. Job Shadowing or Practicum | NDU

Internship vs. Job Shadowing or Practicum

Internships, job shadowing, and practicums are distinct pathways for gaining real-world experience. Each option caters to different goals, levels of commitment, and desired depth of experience in professional development.


  • Internships provide immersive, hands-on experiences where individuals can apply academic knowledge, develop practical skills, and build professional networks over a designated period.
  • Job shadowing offers a brief yet focused opportunity to observe professionals in their daily tasks, aiding in career exploration and understanding specific roles or industries.
  • Practicums offer a balanced approach by combining academic theory with real-world application, blending classroom learning with hands-on experiences.


Applicants typically choose internships for in-depth field exposure, job shadowing for targeted insights into roles or industries, and practicums for a balanced learning experience. The decision depends on individual goals, commitment levels, and the depth of experience sought in professional development.

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