Start a Tech Career in Social Impact: A Comprehensive Guide to Fellowships and Internships

Posted by Noah Hart | Job Seekers

It can be very hard to land your first tech job, so looking for an internship or fellowship can be a great way to start building the skills you need start a social impact career in tech.

We’ve collected some great programs to look into if you’re trying to kick off your tech career. Check them out below!

  1. Second Day Impact Fellowship - Launch a career in social impact by getting matched to a paid internship at a nonprofit or social enterprise.
  2. U.S. Digital Corps - The U.S. Digital Corps is a two‑year fellowship for early‑career technologists where you will work every day to make a difference in critical impact areas including pandemic response, economic recovery, cybersecurity, and racial equity.
  3. Impact Labs Fellowship - The Impact Fellowship is a 2-week gathering over winter break in NYC for computer science students who hope to use their skills to create lasting social change.
  4. Code for America Fellowship - Code for America’s Community Fellowship program pairs community members with local governments to address inequities in service delivery.
  5. Coding it Forward - The Civic Digital Fellowship and Civic Innovation Corps are paid, 10-week summer fellowships for early-career technologists. Fellows work across software engineering, data, design, and product management to deliver policy, improve systems, and strengthen products on behalf of the American people.
  6. Tech Congress - Tech Congress places computer scientists, engineers, and other technologists to serve as technology policy advisors to Members of Congress through their Senior Congressional Innovation Fellowship (their mid-career pipeline), the Congressional Innovation Fellowship (their early-career pipeline), and the Congressional Digital Service Fellowship. Tech Congress bridges the divide of knowledge and experience between DC and Silicon Valley for better outcomes for both. 
  7. Federation of American Scientists Impact Fellowships - The FAS Impact Fellowship is a selective fellowship program that supports the development and placement of emerging scientific and technical talent within high-impact roles across the federal government.
  8. Aspen Tech Policy Hub Fellowship - The Aspen Tech Policy Hub Fellowship is a 10-week, full-time, paid, in-residence program in the Bay Area that teaches STEM experts the policy process. They currently offer fellowship programs along two policy tracks: technology and climate. The program is ideal for people with scientific or technical backgrounds who are interested in building better policy, whether that be within government or more broadly as an external advocate or from within industry.
  9. Govern for America Data Analysts - The GFA Fellowship is a two-year paid opportunity for recent graduates to serve in high-impact roles in governments across the country as a part of a diverse community of engaged leaders. 
  10. Siegel Public Interest Technology Summer Fellowship - Siegel PIT SF program is aimed at rising juniors and seniors interested in getting first-hand experience working on technology policy at the federal, state, and local level. They select between 16 and 20 students from students at Princeton University, as well as any university in the United States to participate each summer in the paid fellowship.

If you know of other paid internship or fellowship programs where you can gain experience in social impact tech, let us know at [email protected]!

Want another way to get involved? We’ve curated a list of websites where you can find tech volunteer opportunities at nonprofits in order to gain skills and contribute to causes you care about.