I highly encourage anyone seeking a degree to begin working in their field as early as possible. Why bother? Without relevant career experience, your job search after college may be closer to a nightmare.
With some degree programs, finding an applicable internship or part time is rare, but others incorporate them into the curriculum. Nursing and medical field degrees include clinicals at hospitals, and engineering programs often involve a year long Co-Op (a paid internship). Some colleges require internships for business students, but the majority do not. Despite the lack of requirements, don’t take this as a freebie. Most students attending university work part time minimum wage jobs that correlate in no way to their major.
Why is this? Many internships are available, but a large portion are unpaid, requiring college credit. There are paid internships available, but there is a high level of competition. Seeking a paid internship is more time-consuming, and requires more effort. Significant initiation is often required to find an internship. It is easier to find something without these requirements. Sometimes it is a lack of transportation which contributes to students not seeking off-campus opportunities. Even without available transportation, the internet is available on every campus I’ve ever seen. Take advantage of free online learning, focus on a unique skill relevant to your field to sharpen your value as a potential employee.
The number reason to heavily seek an internship while still in college, especially summers, is to avoid extended unemployment or underemployment post graduation. Many grads, especially in non-technical or unspecific majors, take 6-9 months to find a decent paying job after graduation. Avoid this by getting ahead.