Before we delve deep into the question it is important to have a clear idea about what each of these internships stands for.
A research internship also known as "dissertation internship" is where you will undertake research work for a company to work on. It is usually undertaken by students in their final year of academic study. In most research work, the intern will work under a professor independently or in the R&D department of the company.
As a research intern, you will be doing one of the following tasks:
Collecting data and making reports on a given subject. For example, e-commerce market growth in north-eastern India or results of video marketing in food industry
Experimentation in the lab to develop a concept or an ideology
Preparing product development model or writing codes and running them
Learning about new subjects, language (IT) or software in the given time frame.
Preparing research report for the finished experiment
Conducting surveys for a project you have taken up
The main aim of all of these is to have a deep understanding of the subject you are researching on as well as learning new things. If you are able to do significant research and perform successful experiments, you can also publish a research paper of your own. It is like a miniature version of PhD san degree.
Research internships can be paid/unpaid depending on the company and the subject you are interning on.
Industrial internship or Industrial training is a practical exposure to the theory you have read in your academic course. It is generally taken by students in the last year of their academic curriculum where students gain real work experience in industries relevant to their professional development.
In case of Industrial internships, the students join the company and work as a full-time employee putting their knowledge into use to gain practical experience. The main objective of the industrial internship is to give the intern a real exposure to the job world. Usually, you will be working in teams and under a manager who will assign you projects and take status reports on your workings.
Most Industrial internships are paid but the amount of stipend may largely vary depending on the company and the industry you are interning with. They usually last for 3-6 months and provide an experience letter and certificate for future records.
The Big Question?
So which internship is better for your resume, research internship or industrial internship? Clearly, both internships have different purposes and come with their set of benefits. And therefore, the internship you should opt for entirely depends upon what you seek out of it.
Higher Studies Versus Jobs
If you are looking to get into PhD or pursue higher studies, research internships will give you an edge and increase your chances of landing a seat in the top universities.
However, if you are looking to get a job, industrial internships will give you the required experience. And if you are skilled, you might get a pre-placement offer from the company you are interning with.
Learnings versus Experience
Research internships are comparatively tough to achieve but can help you enhance your learnings. A successfully completed research internship has a lot of value and it establishes you as someone who has the commitment to approaching a project and completing it on your own.
Industrial training gives you industry experience and helps you build connections. It teaches you how it is to work in a team and spend long hours at work
The Final Say
If you are a person who loves getting deep into a subject, exploring new stuff and are self-motivated, choose research internships. However, if you are seeking real industry-experience and aspire to get a job soon after, choose industrial training. In the end, it all depends upon your final goal and what you want to make out of your internship.