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How to Get a Data Science Internship With No Experience

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Data science is an exciting career path because you can apply your skills to various industries and business contexts. If you’re interested in using data to help businesses find answers for a living, your best bet is to get started with a data science internship. What skills and experience do you need? When should you apply, and where do you find opportunities? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how to get a data science internship.

What Can You Expect From a Data Science Internship? 

First: What is a data science internship? It’s an entry-level opportunity for students with little or no work experience to learn about the field, build upon their technical and soft skills, and work with current data science professionals.

>>MORE: What Is an Internship (and Why Should I Do One)?

Data Science Internship Tasks

So, what will your everyday tasks look like in a data science internship? Daily tasks may include:

  • Data cleaning and preprocessing: clean and prep a raw data set for analysis
  • Exploratory data analysis: use data visualization tools to identify patterns and trends within data
  • Data visualization: create informative visualizations to communicate insights to stakeholders
  • Data quality assurance: conduct and implement data quality checks
  • Data collection: gather data from various sources
  • Building data products: create interactive dashboard or reports
  • Machine learning model training: train a simple machine learning model on a prepared data set
working at Accenture

Data Analytics & Visualization

Apply data analytics and visualization skills to advise a client on their social media content creation strategy. 

Avg. Time: 2-3 hours

Skills you’ll build: Data analysis, data modeling, data understanding, data visualization, communication, strategy

That’s a wide range of work. Data professionals say the focus of your work depends on what kind of internship you take. 

“Some internships may focus more on the data exploration and analysis side,” says Jenna Bellassai, lead data reporter at Forage. “For these positions, you may spend your time analyzing data in Python, SQL, R, or Spark and visualizing it in a business intelligence tool like Tableau or Looker. Other internships may emphasize data engineering. For these, you’ll likely troubleshoot data pipelines, integrate new data sources, or manage a data warehouse. Data scientists often prototype and measure machine learning models. At your internship, you may create models in a prototyping environment, measure them, and then prepare them for production. You might measure the performance of existing models by building dashboards or doing statistical testing. You may even do some software engineering to integrate an app backend with a machine learning model via an API.”

Dushyant Sengar, director of data science at BDO USA, agrees, saying that your scope of work truly depends not just on your industry but the type of company and department you work for. For example, a consulting company will use data science differently than a product team or a bank. 

“Data science internships can be tricky in terms of tasks assigned,” Sengar says. “You can be working on a business impact analysis OR writing a piece of Python code to automate a manual excel based process to even building a state-of-the-art NLP [natural language processing] model. This is dependent on the type of organization.”

How to Find a Data Science Internship

Finding a data science internship can be as easy as a Google search. Depending on your preferences (like applying for a specific company or within a specific niche), you have many options for finding these opportunities:

  • General job boards: Search for “data science internship” or “data science intern” on sites like LinkedIn or Glassdoor to find opportunities. You can also search “data science,” then filter to “internship” or “0-1 levels of experience,” if applicable.
  • Niche job boards: You can also do the same search on job boards with specific niches. For example, Wellfound is a website for jobs at startups. FlexJobs is a website for remote jobs. Work for Good is a website for nonprofit roles. Looking for other niches? Explore 85 best job search sites.
  • Complete a Forage job simulation: Forage has a variety of free, self-paced job simulations that show you what it’s like to work in data. (Find them here!) Once you’ve signed up for a Forage program, you’ll get access to open internship opportunities from companies looking to hire students like you. 
  • Company websites: If you’re interested in a specific company, go straight to the source! Many companies have specific internship pages that explain their different intern offerings. If you can’t find an internship page, go to the company’s careers page and filter for “internship.”
  • Networking: Leveraging your network is crucial at all points in your career, and it’s a great way to find out about job opportunities you might not discover online. You don’t want to ask someone directly for a role, but rather get curious if anyone in your network knows of any opportunities or ask data science professionals where they got their start. For example, asking your data science professor if they’ve had any students that pursued an internship in the field can be an easy and approachable way to start! 

When to Apply to a Data Science Internship

When should you apply to a data science internship? Early! 

While data science isn’t a notoriously competitive industry for internships like investment banking or consulting, landing a data science internship can still be challenging if you don’t apply strategically. The best way to get ahead of the competition is to apply early. Many companies review internship applications on a rolling basis, which means they review them as they come in, not after the deadline. Students who apply early face less competition and can get interviews and an offer before the deadline.

So, when is early? The earliest you might apply for a summer internship is about a year in a half in advance. That means if you’re looking for an internship in summer 2026, applications might open anywhere from winter 2024 to spring 2025. 

This is the case for the biggest, most competitive companies. Otherwise, internship applications for summer internships typically open up anywhere from a year to a few months before the internship starts. So, looking the summer the year before you’d like to do an internship is a good start. 

These are rough timelines, so it’s best to do your research to get a better sense of exactly when you’ll need to apply. Before you prepare your application, start by researching companies and industries you’re interested in doing a data science internship with. Look at company internship pages to see if they post general timelines about their internships. If they don’t, look for job descriptions they’ve posted in the past to figure out the application timeline of past internships. While a company may shift the exact deadlines, recruiters will generally work on a similar schedule year to year. Once you get a sense of when applications open, set a reminder so you can be one of the first applicants. 

>>MORE: Discover top companies’ internship application open dates and deadlines.

How to Get a Data Science Internship

Whether your data science internship is more focused on software engineering or data exploration, it’s a great way to start your career and build both your technical and soft skills. So, how do you land one?

Show Your Technical Skills

While employers won’t expect you to have advanced technical knowledge, they will want you to have some basic understanding of data science tools. Some examples of these technical skills include:

  • Programming skills using languages like Python, SQL, or R
  • Data analytics
  • Data visualization using tools like Tableau and PowerBI
  • Statistics
  • Machine learning techniques and frameworks, like PyTorch, TensorFlow, or scikit-learn
  • Predictive modeling
  • Regression

You can list these hard skills in a “skills” section on your resume or include them in your experience descriptions. In your descriptions, you can write something like “used Python” or “performed data analysis,” then elaborate on how you used that skill to drive results. Be sure to look at the company’s job description to figure out what technical skills it’s looking for, and if you have them, include them. 

>>MORE: How to Write a Resume for an Internship (With Template)

“There are a lot of data science technologies and tools out there — make it easy for the person reviewing your application to understand what you’re familiar with,” Bellassai says. “It’s OK to include languages or frameworks that you’re still in the process of learning, but don’t list every technology you’ve ever used. In addition, if you are interested in a certain specialization relevant to the internship, like computer vision for example, highlight your experience with it.”

BCG logo on building

BCG Data Science & Analytics

Explore a day in the life of data science and analytics at a top consulting firm.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: Programming, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, model evaluation, client communication

Use an Online Portfolio

An online portfolio is a great way to show the recruiter or hiring manager your technical skills and examples of your work. You don’t need to make a fancy website; instead, focus on compiling some of your top work. For instance, include a link to a public-facing GitHub profile in your application. 

While an online portfolio definitely isn’t required for an application, it can be a helpful way to stand out by showing real examples of your work.

Don’t Forget Your Soft Skills

While technical skills are essential, employers aren’t looking for interns with advanced technical knowledge. Instead, they want students with a growth mindset who are dedicated, willing to learn, and are great people to work with. 

“Business acumen and communication skills will take you further than having just Python or Tableau knowledge in the short time you will be there,” Sengar says. “Remember no one would hire a great Python programmer if they were unapproachable, difficult to communicate [with], and didn’t spend time learning about the business.”

So, how do you show these soft skills? Instead of listing them in a “skills” section of your resume, use these skills in your experience descriptions to share how you worked with others to drive results. For example, did you communicate your data findings with others on a project? Collaborate to brainstorm a new solution? Use time management skills to finish an analysis early?

Ace the Interview

An interview for a data science internship will likely have two main types of questions: technical and behavioral.

Technical questions will focus on your knowledge of data science concepts, such as data manipulation, statistical modeling, and cloud architectures. Remember that the employer isn’t looking for a data science expert when answering these questions! Instead, they want to know how familiar you are with concepts and your background. It’s OK if you don’t know everything. Before the interview, review popular data science concepts and anything else the company has mentioned in the job description.

>>MORE: Learn what common questions to expect during a data science interview

Technical Interview Prep

Practice everything you need to ace a technical interview, from researching the role and whiteboard challenges to take-home assignments and hiring criteria.

Avg. Time: 5-6 hours

Skills you’ll build: Technical interviews, whiteboard challenges, personal reflection, research

You’ll likely also come across behavioral interview questions. Employers ask these questions to learn more about your experience, but you don’t need professional experience to answer them successfully! Talking about academic projects, Forage job simulations, extracurriculars, externships, and other internships is all fair game. Use the STAR method to share about projects you’ve worked on, who you worked with, and what results you brought. 

Ready to Start Applying? Data Science Internship Opportunities

The following companies hire data science interns throughout the year.


  • Internship application open date: Depends on the type of program; Accenture offers internships and year-long apprenticeship programs. Typically, opportunities are posted toward the beginning of the calendar year. 
  • Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline? Rolling basis. 
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. You must be authorized to work in the U.S. 
  • Where to apply: Accenture jobs page.
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid. 
  • Work location: In-person across the U.S. 


  • Internship application open date: Depends on the location of the BCG internship. Some offices open applications in the fall, others in the spring, and some are open year-round. 
  • Internship application deadline: Data science internships closed in 2024 on March 1st.
  • Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline? Generally, on a rolling basis; some applications for specific internships are reviewed within the deadline period.
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Students currently enrolled in university in a related field. 
  • Where to apply: BCG career page; you can also sign up to receive email alerts for internships.
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid; school credit offerings vary by location, school approval, and specific roles.
  • Work location: Varies.
  • Additional information: When hiring interns, BCG focuses on academic performance, previous work or internship experience, motivation for working within the consulting field and at BCG, and your personal, non-academic interests.
BCG logo on building

Gen AI

Practice machine learning skills as you develop a chatbot to assist with financial inquiries. 

Avg. Time: 3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build: Python, data extraction, logic, Excel

JPMorgan Chase

  • Internship application deadline: Varies by program, from late February (the year before the internship) to December. You can sign up on JPMorgan’s career page to get alerts when applications for JPMorgan internships open. 
  • Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline? Rolling basis.
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Students currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program.
  • Where to apply: JPMorgan Chase careers page.
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid.
  • Work location: In-person and hybrid across 50 U.S. cities.

>>MORE: Boost your chances of landing a role at JPMorgan Chase by enrolling in one of the company’s 16 job simulations. You’ll get exclusive insights into what it’s like to work at JPMorgan Chase and get experience to add to your resume and talk about in interviews. 


  • Internship application open date: December, two years prior to when the internship will take place — applications for summer 2025 will open in December 2023. 
  • Internship application deadline: For summer internships, the deadline is in late February the year prior. For example, applications for summer 2026 are due in February of 2025. For winter internships, the deadline is in late September the year prior. 
  • Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline? Rolling basis; candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, 
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Students enrolled in an undergraduate program. 
  • Where to apply: PwC entry-level careers page; students can search for “intern.”
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid and school credit. 
  • Work location: All different types of work locations (in-person, remote, and hybrid) are available. 

Technology Consulting

Learn about a client's technical business problems and come up with a presentation with possible solutions.

Avg. Time: 4-5 hours

Skills you’ll build: Critical thinking, client communication, strategy, writing, business analytical thinking

Thermo Fisher Scientific

  • Internship application open date: In the fall, typically September. 
  • Internship application deadline: No specific deadline; applications remain open until positions are filled (typically by December).
  • Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline? Rolling basis.
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. They must be eligible to work in the U.S. and not require sponsorship for employment. 
  • Where to apply: Thermo Fisher Scientific Students & Graduates page.
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid. School credit is available depending on location and school. 
  • Work location: Primarily in-person across the U.S., including but not limited to Waltham, Carlsbad, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, and North Carolina. Some internships are hybrid or remote, depending on the office location. 


  • Internship application open date: In the fall, typically September and October.
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Current juniors pursuing an undergraduate degree with a GPA greater than 3.0. Immigration sponsorship is not available.
  • Where to apply: Walmart internships page.
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid.
  • Work location: In-person in Bentonville, Arkansas, Hoboken, New Jersey, Reston, Virginia, Silicon Valley, and Dallas and Austin, Texas. Relocation assistance is available. 

Wells Fargo

  • Internship application open date: Typically in the spring the year before the summer internship. For example, if you’re looking for a 2026 summer internship, applications will open in spring 2025. 
  • Are applications reviewed on a rolling basis or after the deadline? Rolling basis.
  • Who’s eligible to apply: Rising juniors. 
  • Where to apply: Wells Fargo early careers page.
  • Is this position paid or does it offer school credit? Paid. School credit is available depending on location and school. 
  • Work location: In-person in Charlotte, North Carolina, Des Moines, Iowa, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Phoenix, Arizona, St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, California. 

Software Engineering

Build a system that helps financial advisors better manage customer portfolios.

Avg. Time: 3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build: Data modeling, system design, Java, Spring

Landing a Data Science Internship: The Bottom Line

While the day-to-day of data science internships can vary greatly depending on the industry and company, they can help you jumpstart your career in the field. You’ll work on your technical skills, work with other data science professionals, and gain professional experience applying your data science knowledge to real-world business contexts.

To land a data science internship, you don’t need to be a technical expert, but be sure to show off your hard skills — especially the ones a company is looking for in the job description — and your interpersonal skills. Finally, show that you’re excited about working for the company and ready to hit the ground running and build new skills if they offer you an internship.

Build the technical skills you need to land a data science internship with free Forage data job simulations.

Zoe Kaplan is a Senior Writer at Forage. Prior to joining Forage, she wrote and edited career and workplace content for Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women.

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