Looking to get a leg up on those already in college, and given the disappointing job market that could be waiting for them on the other side, more and more high schoolers are taking on volunteer work or internships.


The reasoning is simple -- the more you do, the more you can add to your resume and, perhaps, the better your chances are at landing a job. However, the practice could be a waste of time for some older teens, especially if their eventual majors and careers end up being in a completely different field than their intern work.

Joy Schneer, chair of the Management Department at Rider University, said companies aren't typically interested in an applicant's activities during their high school years.

"They're really looking to see what did you do in college, and how did you contribute in college, and what kind of internships you had in college," Schneer said.

She noted, though, high school internships could be a real plus on a college application.

"The best thing a student can do in high school is get a job," Schneer suggested.

Discussions among workplace and human resources experts about internships have always included a warning, as companies tend to take advantage of those looking to work for free.

"This really falls on parents to really do a good job in being a smart consumer, so to speak," said Chester Spell, associate professor of Management at Rutgers University. "Make sure you know what your child's going to get out of these things."

Schneer agreed, saying the "potential for abuse" is much greater when a high school student is involved.