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Volunteer or Intern to Grow your Tech Career

Written By
By Munira Maricar
Travel Writer

In today’s fast-evolving tech landscape, finding the right path to start a career in tech can be as exciting as it is daunting. Whether you’re a high school student, a recent graduate, or someone looking to pivot into the tech industry, engaging in volunteer opportunities and internships can provide invaluable experience and insight. 

To prepare for a career in tech, it’s essential to develop a mix of hard and soft skills that will keep you competitive and effective in your role. 

Internships to Develop Your Tech Hard Skills


Honing your hard skills is a pivotal step in carving out a successful career in the tech industry. Internship programs offer a practical, hands-on approach to learning that can significantly enhance your theoretical knowledge and give you a competitive edge in the job market. These opportunities allow you to apply what you’ve learned in a real-world setting, tackle actual challenges, and work alongside experienced professionals who can impart wisdom and guidance.

Explore tech internships by Intern HQ in the following amazing locations:

The above internship programs contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #9, focusing on building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation. This not only allows interns to gain practical experience but also to participate in efforts towards global sustainable development. 


Here is a summary of the hard skills that can be learned through these internships, along with the associated career paths:

Hard Skills You Can Learn:

  1. Software Development: Understanding of full lifecycle software development, including planning, development, testing, and deployment.
  2. Programming: Gaining proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, or others relevant to the project.
  3. Web Development: Skills in both front-end (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) and back-end (server-side scripting, database management) development.
  4. Cybersecurity & Ethical Hacking: Understanding of security principles, vulnerability assessment, and mitigation strategies.
  5. Cloud Platforms: Experience with cloud services (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) and cloud architecture.
  6. Data Analysis & Management: Skills in data collection, analysis, and visualization tools.
  7. UX/UI Design: Principles of user experience and user interface design, including wireframing, prototyping, and user testing.
  8. Network Infrastructure: Knowledge of network setup, management, and security protocols.
  9. Project Management: Understanding of project management principles, tools, and software.
  10. Software Testing & Quality Assurance: Techniques for software testing, debugging, and ensuring quality.

Associated Career Paths:

If you’re interested in any of the following career paths, you should definitely think about getting some work experience under your belt ASAP!

  • Software Engineer/Developer: Designing, developing, and maintaining software applications.
  • Web Developer: Building and maintaining websites and web applications.
  • UX/UI Designer: Designing user interfaces and experiences for software and websites.
  • IT Consultant/Technical Consultant: Providing expert advice on IT strategies and solutions.
  • Cybersecurity Analyst: Protecting systems and networks from cyber threats.
  • Data Analyst: Analyzing data to support decision-making.
  • Network Engineer: Designing and managing computer networks.
  • Cloud Solutions Architect: Designing and deploying scalable, secure cloud environments.
  • Project Manager: Leading IT projects from conception to completion.
  • Database Administrator: Managing and maintaining database systems.
  • Technical Support Specialist: Providing technical support and troubleshooting services.
  • Information Systems Manager: Overseeing IT-related operations in an organization.
  • Applications Developer: Creating, testing, and developing applications.
  • Content Manager/Web Content Manager: Managing digital content strategy for online platforms.

Tech Soft Skills


Now that you already have the hard skills down, what else can you develop within yourself to make sure you stand out in the tech industry? Based on recent analyses, the following soft skills are among the most sought-after in the tech industry:

  1. Collaboration: The capacity to work in a team, share ideas, and embrace new approaches.
  2. Communication: The ability to efficiently communicate concepts, ideas, needs, or objectives.
  3. Adaptability: Keeping an open mind and being prepared to adapt to challenges as the boundaries between people and machines evolve.
  4. Problem-Solving: The ability to identify problems, think critically, and come up with effective solutions is essential in the fast-paced tech industry.
  5. Creativity and Innovation: Thinking outside the box and bringing innovative ideas to the table can set you apart in a tech career.
  6. Time Management: The ability to efficiently manage your time, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines is crucial, especially in project-based work.
  7. Resilience: The tech field can be challenging and stressful. Being resilient and able to bounce back from setbacks is important for long-term success.
  8. Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as recognizing and influencing the emotions of others, can greatly enhance teamwork and leadership.
  9. Continuous Learning: The tech field is constantly evolving, so a commitment to lifelong learning and staying current with new technologies and methodologies is a key soft skill.
  10. Leadership: Even if you’re not in a management position, demonstrating leadership qualities such as taking initiative, motivating others, and taking responsibility can be highly valuable.

Acquiring these skills can significantly enhance your resume and make you a more competitive candidate in the tech industry. Remember, the tech landscape is always evolving, so continuous learning and adaptability are key to long-term success. 


We’ve curated a selection of cool volunteer opportunities to help you develop these skills in a way that is not only fun but also allows you to contribute positively while exploring the world! Engaging in volunteer work abroad can also expand your professional network internationally, giving you access to potential mentors, collaborators, and job opportunities that can propel any professional career forward. 

Volunteer Opportunities to Develop Your Tech Soft Skills

Education and Literacy Programs


Beyond teaching, these programs offer a platform for collaboration, communication, and leadership, as well as a chance to practice time management and creativity. If you would like to share your IT skills, check out these volunteer programs in South Africa and Sri Lanka by Projects Abroad where you can teach computer skills to underprivileged communities, empowering them digitally.

As a fluent English speaker, you can also contribute by teaching in the following ways:

Community Development Projects


These projects can involve working in underprivileged areas to improve living conditions, education, and economic opportunities. Volunteers collaborate with local communities, developing strong communication, empathy, and cultural competency.

Environmental Conservation Programs


Participation in conservation efforts, such as wildlife conservation, reforestation, or marine conservation, helps develop adaptability, problem-solving, and resilience. These programs often require teamwork and innovation to tackle environmental challenges.

  • Contribute to IVHQ’s Lisbon Forest Conservation Volunteer Project and help restore native forests and wildlife. This program offers hands-on experience in environmental restoration, biodiversity promotion, and fieldwork learning, all set in the natural beauty of Lisbon’s parks, with accommodation close to the beach for a fully immersive experience. 
  • Volunteer at a leading African Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe with GoEco, engaging with a range of animals from monkeys to lions. Contribute to wildlife care and animal rehabilitation while enhancing Zimbabwe’s ecosystem and experiencing its natural beauty. 
  • Join a sea turtle conservation program with Maximo Nivel and help protect these ancient creatures facing extinction. Work alongside experts in Costa Rica or Guatemala, contributing to the survival of baby turtles, participating in beach cleanups, and educating communities.  
  • Contribute to whale and puma conservation in Patagonia, Argentina with Projects Abroad by living and working in the “La Esperanza” wildlife refuge. Assist in monitoring unique ecosystems, learn about local wildlife, and immerse yourself in conservation efforts in one of the world’s most stunning environments. 
  • Engage in global environmental efforts with African Impact, IVI, Volunteering Solutions, and GVI, offering hands-on volunteering in sustainability, conservation, and farming. These programs combat climate change, protect ecosystems, and empower communities, blending personal growth with impactful action under the guidance of experienced providers.

Human Rights and Legal Aid


Working with NGOs on human rights advocacy, legal aid, and social justice issues can develop negotiation and conflict resolution skills, alongside leadership and emotional intelligence. These programs often require volunteers to adapt to complex and sensitive situations, fostering adaptability and resilience.

  • Support people experiencing homelessness in Athens through International Volunteer HQ’s program, working with NGOs to offer essential services like food, clothing, and legal aid. Stay in a sustainable hostel, immerse in Greek culture, and contribute to meaningful community aid.

  • Assist migrants and refugees in Mexico with Projects Abroad by providing essential support at a shelter. Engage with social workers and lawyers to offer support and basic necessities, while also collecting vital data. Ideal for those wanting to build empathy, this program offers a deep dive into humanitarian aid in Guadalajara.

  • Promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in Ghanaian education with GVI. Partner with local schools to enhance inclusive teaching and empower students from diverse backgrounds. Experience cultural immersion and contribute to meaningful community impact in Kokrobite. Ideal for those passionate about social justice.

Disaster Relief and Emergency Response

volunteer for disaster relief

Participating in relief efforts after natural disasters or crises helps develop resilience, problem-solving, and adaptability. Volunteers learn to work under pressure, manage time effectively, and communicate in challenging environments.

Building a Bright Future in Tech


Embarking on a journey to start a career in technology is an exhilarating adventure filled with opportunities for growth and learning. By taking advantage of internships and volunteer work, you can gain the practical experience and soft skills needed to thrive in this dynamic field.

Whether it’s developing hard skills through tech internships in vibrant locations worldwide or enhancing your soft skills through diverse volunteer opportunities, these experiences are invaluable. They not only prepare you for the challenges of the tech industry but also contribute to personal development and global sustainability efforts.