Careers and CTE

Job Shadow Quick Start Guide

What is a job shadow?
As we covered in our Employer’s Guide to Job Shadowing last month, “A job shadow program is a program within any company or organization that lets students shadow workers for a few hours. Unlike internships, which usually last months or a year, job shadow programs are typically less than one day. Students are compensated with school credit and the ability to meet professionals – no money exchanges hands on either side. Also unlike an internship, a job shadow is strictly educational in nature; they often only observe but can do hands-on tasks if you are open to that.”

Benefits of job shadowing
Job shadowing benefits everyone. Students are introduced to the workforce in a friendly, controlled environment, and are able to acquaint themselves with the higher-ups. This allows them to potentially get a foot in with a company that may hire them after they graduate. The experience is also valuable, and they can likely use this experience as college/high school credit.

Employers will meet a few new fresh faces and some potential new employees, which not only will help hiring managers look for new talent, but also establish the company as a student-friendly workplace that gives back to the community.

What companies offer job shadowing?
Companies across all sectors offer job shadow programs! Although you’ll more likely see job shadowing in office settings, retail stores and local businesses of all kinds (ranging from massage therapy to local boutiques) also offer programs. You can ask around at local businesses or see if your school has any info, but the easiest way to find out what companies near you offer job shadowing is to use our Job Shadow Finder. The Finder is a collection of companies that offer job shadowing and internships at their office(s), and is perfect for students who need job experience or need to complete an internship/job shadow before graduation.

I’m part of a company; how do I make my company’s internship/job shadow program known?
A topic we also covered in our previous job shadow post, a great way to get started is to put a listing for the program in our Job Shadow Finder. You can also buy a promoted blog post with us, and we’ll write a customized blog post focusing entirely on your program. It’s a great way to reach out 9,000+ daily visitors to our site!

I’m a student who needs to complete a job shadow/internship to graduate, but I can’t find any programs in my area!
Interning and job shadowing are slowly becoming a requirement for high schoolers and college students to complete before graduation. While it might be fairly easy for college students to find an internship, job shadows are harder to find, and it’s all the more harder for high school students.

Besides making use of our Job Shadow Finder, a great way to find programs in your area is to speak either with your school’s main office (if you’re in high school) or career center (if you’re in college). These offices are bound to have plenty of useful information, or at the very least some people or businesses you can contact for further info.

Are there any existing job shadow databases?
Despite there being a plethora of job- and internship-hunting websites, no resources exist to help students find job shadow opportunities. Career In STEM’s Job Shadow Finder is the first of its kind, and seeks to help students who would otherwise struggle to find the opportunities they need to graduate.

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