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Get Experience

Your education aims to prepare you for career success. Supplement your classroom learning with work-based learning in the real world. Not only can work experience make you more employable upon graduation, but it can help you decide on a career path, build your professional network, and boost your resume.

Become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships have become a time-honored tradition for good reason. These on-the-job training programs allow skilled professionals to pass down their craftsmanship and knowledge by directly working with the next generation in their field. Apprenticeships are an important part of Montana’s work training system. 

Montana is proud to offer an extensive Registered Apprenticeship Program, with opportunities for apprenticeship in traditional trades like plumbing, carpentry, and electric, in addition to a range of new fields including information technology and healthcare. Combining your classroom education with apprenticeship training allows you to keep up with technical skills and knowledge you need for success in today’s job market.

110
occupations offering apprenticeships since 2000
1,300
businesses involved in Montana apprenticeship programs
47%
of projected worker demand will be in apprenticeable occupations over the next decade

Why Choose Work-Based Learning?

Did you know that graduates with work experience made $8,000 more a year after graduation than those without prior connections to the Montana labor market? And that’s not all — not only can work-based learning lead to higher earnings in the future, but it can increase your confidence as a worker, expose you to new career paths, and can boost your resume to make you more competitive on job applications. Whether you have several months or you only have an afternoon, there are several ways for you to incorporate work-based learning in your education.
career fair

Career fairs

These career events, usually hosted by your college, allow students to meet recruiters from dozens of local or even national businesses in a single afternoon. It’s a great opportunity to practice presenting yourself in a professional manner and to make connections with recruiters who are looking to hire students or recent grads. Dressing sharp, bringing an up-to-date resume, and staying in touch with the people you meet can leave a lasting good impression — perhaps even leading to an internship, apprenticeship or full-time job down the line.
students interviewing employer

Job shadowing / Interview an employer

It’s often hard for students to get an accurate idea of what a day on the job looks and feels like for different careers. This is why job shadowing or interviewing an employer can be extremely useful, especially if you aren’t entirely sure if a career path is right for you. Job shadowing generally involves following around a working professional throughout a work day or week to learn about the job and build professional relationships. Employer interviews are a much shorter time commitment, and involve setting up a meeting with a person who has a job that you’re interested in. During this meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any question you have about their occupation and how they got to where they are today.
students volunteering

Volunteering

Volunteer your time to gain hands-on experience and to give back to local communities and businesses. Not only can volunteering help others, but it can give you great exposure to different kinds of work and people and is a great addition to your resume. There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities for every location, interest, and schedule. Whether you’re looking for something local or virtual, people-based or solo-work, long term commitments or just one afternoon or work, there is sure to be something for you.
student learns to operate construction equipment

Weeklong or Summer Internships

Internships are kind of like a trial run for a job. You apply for the position (some opportunities are even paid), but only work for a short period of time. These experiences allow you to learn through doing. You can take responsibility for projects, make real contributions to a company, and make connections with hiring managers, bosses, and coworkers. Depending on the length of the opportunity, internships can span from just a week to several months, like a summer internship.