How Hard Is It to Get a Software Engineering Internship? 

So, you’re looking to land a software engineering internship. Getting a software engineering internship is a great way to build up your software engineering skills, learn new knowledge, gain valuable experience, and build up your resume. How easy is it to get one, however? 


The ease of getting a software engineering internship will depend on your education, experience, and network. If you are self-taught, you may have to apply for hundreds of internship positions before landing one. Increase your chances by starting early and building your network. 


In this article, you will learn more about how difficult it is to land a software engineering internship, why it depends on your education level, and what you can do to increase your chances of landing a good software engineering internship.

Why Is It Hard to Land a Software Engineering Internship? 

There are a number of reasons why getting a software engineering internship is pretty difficult. 


First of all, there is a lot of competition. Being a software engineer comes with many benefits, such as a great salary, freedom to work remotely, and the ability to build your own business. Getting an internship is generally the first step for aspiring software engineers, so you will have to stand out to land one. 


Also, a software engineering internship is often treated as an extended job interview. They don’t want you to just complete the internship and leave; they are looking for people who can stay on and help their company grow. As such, companies are looking for people who have a lot of potential and a great resume. We will learn how to improve your resume later in this article. 


According to Alyssa from Free Code Camp, who landed an internship after four months of self-study, she applied to over 700 different internships until she got accepted to one of them. This shows just how difficult the market can be for those looking for software engineering internships. 


However, there are a number of things you can do to improve your chances of landing a software engineering internship. In the following section, we will go over the various factors that can affect your chances of getting a software engineering internship. 

Things That Affect Your Chances of Getting an Internship

Let’s learn about the things that matter when it comes to getting an internship easily and how you can up your chances of landing an internship quicker. 


The better your education is, the more likely you are to get accepted as a software engineering intern. Companies are often looking for students who already graduated or who are close to graduation. If you are still a sophomore and are a couple of years away from graduation, you will have a much more difficult time finding an internship. If you are self-taught, it will probably be even more difficult. Your GPA matters too. 

Willingness to Relocate

This is more important than some people think. If you are not willing to relocate, you are limiting yourself to the opportunities in your area. If you are willing to expand your search to other cities and potentially move to another city, you are more likely to be able to find an internship quicker. Of course, not everyone will be able to relocate, but if you can, your chances will increase. 


Building a good resume is crucial for landing an internship. Of course, to create a great resume, you will have to have something to put on your resume, whether that is a great education, side projects, or more. However, writing your resume in a way that makes you look more valuable is important too. 


You may also want to consider writing a cover letter. However, your cover letter must be customized to the company you are applying to; you can’t send the same one out to everyone. 


As you saw earlier in this article, you may have to apply to hundreds of positions until you get accepted to one of them. That is why being patient and persistent is so important. If you give up early, you will never land an internship. In addition, if you are not willing to be persistent and continue sending out applications until you reach your goal, you have a lower chance of succeeding. 

Side Projects

Working on side projects is a great way to boost your resume and make you more attractive to potential hires. Working on a side project will show potential hires a number of things. First of all, it will show that you have some experience doing what you studied. In addition, it shows them that you are actually passionate about your career. 


There are all kinds of side projects you can work on, but make sure you do something you enjoy. You are not getting paid for it, so why not enjoy it in addition to having it boost your resume? You can work for non-profits or just create your own project from scratch. 

Coding Challenges

Another way to show that you have the knowledge and experience employers are looking for is by finishing coding challenges. By completing a coding challenge and completing it correctly, you can demonstrate your potential and show employers that it is worth it to give you a shot.


Creating connections and building a network is also one of the most important things you can do to increase your chances of landing an internship. You can build your network and utilize your existing network to help you get an internship. 


First, try reaching out to people you already know. These may be people you went to school with, people you attended classes with, people you worked on non-profit projects with, or anyone you know who works at a company you want to intern at. Since you already know these people, they will be more likely to be willing to help you and connect you with a recruiter at the company. 


The second step is creating a network of people you are not already acquainted with. You can go to LinkedIn to find people who work for companies you want to intern at, while filtering for people who have something in common with you, such as people who graduated from the same university as you. 


However, since you don’t yet know these people, make a connection first by asking them if they can have a quick phone chat so you can ask a bit about their company. 


This will also allow you to find out more about the company. You may think that you want to work at a specific company, but there may be things you are unaware of. For example, you may not like the company culture, or the work-life balance may not suit your lifestyle. 

Preparation for Interviews

Acing interviews is perhaps the best thing you can do if you want to get accepted as an intern. However, to be a successful interviewee, you have to prepare for your interviews. This includes both regular interviews and technical interviews.


For regular interviews, be confident about your worth and what you bring to the table, ask questions to show that you are interested in what the company has to offer, explain why you want to work at that company in particular, and make it clear what you bring to the table. You can get used to this pretty quickly, as long as you do basic research about every company you are applying to. 


However, for technical interviews, you really have to study. This is your chance to show that you know your stuff and really bring exceptional skills and knowledge to the table. 


Getting accepted as a software engineering intern is not easy. However, if you are persistent, create a great resume, prepare for your interviews, and take on new projects, you will increase your chances of success. Don’t forget the importance of creating a network and reaching out to your existing network to see if they can help you land an internship at your dream job. Above all, have thick skin, as you will probably get rejected or ignored many times. 


Recent Posts