One of the best things you can do as a high school student is to engage in curriculum and real-world experience specific to your ideal major. It’s no secret that computer science is among the most competitive and challenging majors, so getting a head start is a good idea. An internship is a perfect way to bolster your resume and college applications. College admissions officers are often searching for well-rounded students with a plethora of extracurricular activities and coding internships for high school students may be exactly what you need to set yourself apart. Internships also provide a great experience and insight into different areas of computer science fields you may be interested in.
Here is everything you need to know about where to find computer science internships for high school students.
National Security Agency Stokes Program
The Stokes Program through the National Security Agency is an incredible opportunity for high school seniors. It is one of the best computer science internships for high school students available. The program offers up to $30,000 per year for tuition in addition to 3 months of summer work at the NSA. Students also receive a salary for the entire year, guaranteed employment, benefits, paid leave, holidays, insurance, and 401k plans. Those who live more than 75 miles will also receive housing and additional entitlements. Although the standards are high and admitted students must work 1.5x the length of study, the benefits far outweigh the costs. This experience is unmatched and will set you up for lifelong success.
The NSA also offers several other high school work-study programs and internship opportunities.
NASA Office of STEM Engagement
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center offers internship opportunities for high school 10th, 11th, and 12th-grade students interested in STEM fields and who meet a minimum 3.0 GPA requirement. Students will help develop projects with advanced technology and engineering and partner with NASA scientists, engineers, and other professionals. Admitted students will attend one of four campuses in Maryland, Virginia, New York, or West Virginia. OSTEM interns are also eligible to receive a stipend.
This is one of the best computer science internships for high school students and one you don’t want to miss.
Army Educational Outreach Program High School Apprenticeship
The AEOP High School Apprenticeship offers a chance for students to work one-on-one with a university researcher or DoD scientist. In the free-cost program, students will be exposed to high-tech equipment, techniques, U.S. Army-sponsored research, and more. Students will also receive an educational stipend in recognition of their work.
Opportunities such as this one are perfect for creating effective mentor/mentee relationships and asking for one of those coveted high-quality recommendation letters.
National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer High School Intern Program
The NIST offers six laboratories that participate in the Summer High School Intern Program and each conducts research in a variety of sciences. Students can select from the Communications Technology Lab, Engineering Lab, Information Technology Lab, Material Measurement Lab, NIST Center for Neutron Research, or Physical Measurement Lab.
Each lab focuses on different areas of research but each includes a Computer Science component. Students have an opportunity to complete research in topics like biomedical engineering, computer security, software engineering, sustainable manufacturing, automated construction processes, and more. This internship is a fantastic way to learn more about specific fields in Computer Science.
MITRE is a national security company that offers a nationwide paid 8-week research internship. Students interested in STEM who are open-minded innovators and want to participate in research, development, engineering, and analysis projects are encouraged to apply.
Student researchers will join and collaborate with expert mentors to perform a variety of tasks and realize their full potential. Applicants must be high school freshmen – seniors and at least 14 before beginning work. Learning from one of the Nation’s top STEM companies is a major opportunity.
Anson L. Clark Scholars Program
The Anson L. Clark Scholars Program is an opportunity for highly qualified juniors and seniors to attend a seven-week summer research program at Texas Tech. Admitted students will receive on-campus meals, room, and board, and weekend activities free of charge. Upon completion of a successful research project, students will also receive a $750 tax-free stipend.
During the seven weeks, admitted students will complete hands-on practical research with Texas Tech’s outstanding and experienced faculty. Computer science students may research a range of topics that vary from protecting the environment to conquering disease or eliminating hunger. This is a great foundation for learning college-level research tools and techniques as well as learning about different computing careers.
Sandia National Laboratories
Sandia offers a wide variety of computer science internships for high school students. Students will need to live near the Livermore, CA, or Albuquerque, NM laboratory depending on the internship location. Minimum qualifications include full-time high school enrollment, a 3.0/4.0 scale, the ability to work 40 hours per week during the year, U.S. Citizen, asylee, refugee, or lawful permanent resident, and a minimum of 16 years of age.
Interns may complete a range of tasks including working with data and graphic software, Python, Radiography data analysis, and more. This is an ideal experience for those interested in working for a premier science and engineering lab.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code offers high school girls an opportunity to participate in a 2-week immersion program or a 6-week self-paced experience. This is a great introduction to computer science for female students and allows them to learn the skills they need to prepare for a career in technology.
In the Summer Immersion program, students will virtually learn Game Design, UX design basics, and more. This program is free and Girls Who Code offers grants of up to $300 and tech support.
These two programs are excellent options for those who are new to Computer Science. This learning experience can help open the door to additional coding internships for high school students.
Microsoft Discovery Program
Students in the Microsoft Discovery Program will participate in a curriculum designed to learn programming fundamentals and develop career readiness skills. They will also gain mentorship from Microsoft Employees.
The program is open to graduating seniors that live within 50 miles of Redmond, Washington, and are available for full-time work for four consecutive weeks July – August. Imagine learning from one of the leading companies in the tech industry. The ability to even add a name like Microsoft to your college application makes this one of the best coding internships for high school students.
HOPP Summer Student Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
The HOPP (Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program) at Memorial Sloan Kettering offers high school students hands-on experience in laboratory techniques. Students will conduct independent research projects, attend training sessions, and pair with a postdoctoral fellow, graduate student, or research technician. The 8-week session will conclude with a presentation. Students will also receive a stipend upon completing the program.
This internship offers excellent experience in biomedical and computational lab work. It also offers an opportunity for students to complete a self-directed project that assists their mentor and specific research goals. This computer science internship is perfect for self-motivated high school students who want to engage in research and discover all that STEM education can do.
Data Science Institute Summer Lab at the University of Chicago
The Data Science Institute offers a 10-week paid summer research internship. Admitted students are paired with a data science mentor from a range of fields including computer science. Students will learn research methodologies, practices, and teamwork. Students will then present their research in a final video and present during an end-of-summer symposium with their cohort.
The program is available to all freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. There is no experience required but familiarity with Python, Java, and C++, is preferred as well as coursework in computer science, statistics, and math. Through this program, students have a fantastic chance to improve their skills and work at a college level.
If you are looking for ways to improve your college applications and computer science skills, an internship is a great option. Internships offer students insight into the required work of specific fields. It can help students make decisions about potential majors, minors, or even future jobs. A positive internship experience can open the doors for future employment or continued internship opportunities with a specific company.
There are so many great computer science internships for high school students. It’s a good idea to apply for a few opportunities and make a decision from there. You may even be able to earn some extra summer money. Students should apply for positions that are directly related to fields most interesting to them or with employers they are considering working for in the future. Internship opportunities can offer critical insight into a student’s decision about specific colleges, programs, and majors. Students are highly encouraged to complete at least one internship during high school to gain a better understanding of what their future may hold.