Internships for professional careers are similar in some ways to apprenticeships for trade and vocational jobs, but the lack of standardization and oversight leaves the term open to broad interpretation. Interns may be college or university students, high school students, or post-graduate adults. These positions may be paid or unpaid and are usually temporary.
Generally, an internship consists of an exchange of services for experience between the student and an organization. Students can also use an internship to determine if they have an interest in a particular career, to create a network of contacts, or to gain school credit. Some interns find permanent, paid employment with the organizations for which they worked upon completion of the internship. This can be a significant benefit to the employer as experienced interns often need little or no training when they begin regular employment. Unlike a trainee program, employment at the completion of an internship is not guaranteed.