NACE 2015 Internship and Co-op Survey

Filed in News by on November 5, 2015


Earlier this year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) administered its annual Internship & Co-op survey to 1,116 NACE employer members. They inquired and reported on topics including program structure, long- and short-term goals, recruiting, and compensation.

The findings showed that internships continue to be more prevalent than co-ops, as year-over-year growth in both areas has remained the same. A majority of all experiential education opportunities were identified as paid, with few companies requiring students to receive academic credit in place of monetary compensation. The average hourly rate for undergraduate students across all disciplines was calculated to be $17.20 for internships and $17.36 for co-ops. The Career Development Center uses self-reported data to track similar information—see a breakdown of average internship salaries by major for WPI students.

The primary short-term goal for these educational programs is to convert intern and co-op students into full-time employees. Not surprising, according to a separate survey from NACE, the skills employers seek for internship and co-op candidates mirror those sought for full-time hires. These skills include the ability to work in teams, the ability to obtain and process information, organizational and planning skills, verbal communication skills, and decision-making and problem-solving skills. NACE also found that conversion tended to increase if students worked for the same company on multiple occasions.

Also, according to NACE’s Internship & Co-op survey, the average lead time for recruiting was seven months for internships and six months for co-ops. Additionally, on-campus recruiting events were found to be more popular and successful than virtual recruiting strategies.

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