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The Impact Of Cooperative Education Internships On Full Time Employment Salaries Of Students In Computing Sciences

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Workplace Concerns, Realities, and Intangibles

Tagged Division

Cooperative & Experiential Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1220.1 - 14.1220.13



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Paper Authors

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Anthony Joseph Pace University

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Mabel Payne New York City Government

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Relative Impact of Cooperative Education Internships on Computing Sciences' Students Full-Time Employment Salaries Introduction

Studies have shown that a cooperative education internship provides at least a starting salary advantage to its participants1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11. However, no study was found wherein the cooperative education internship program was in an urban institution with both commuter and residential traditional and non-traditional students. Many students work in various types of employment ranging from varying degrees of part-time to full-time. These different employment arrangements make cooperative education internship only one of several options of work-based learning experiences, including students who attend college full-time while employed full-time at one extreme to students who attend college full-time without engaging in any employment activity, as well as students who work because they need money to assist with the payment of their educational expenses8. These may include part-time students who work full-time or part- time.

While many authors associate cooperative education interns with at least a starting salary advantage over non-interns2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, none of their studies seem to capture the complexity of today's urban university student populations and the diverse working arrangements that some of them are involved in while in attendance. Additionally, Gardner and Motschenbacher4, 5 found that work experience had little impact on the starting point that a new employee enters an organization: "the size of the company and the engineering discipline" are the main determinants. They also found that computer science graduates tend to enter organizations at positions above entry level, with the main advantage of cooperative education participation being salary upon full-time employment. While cooperative education internships seem to provide a salary advantage under some situations, this advantage may be influenced by several factors including the quality and quantity of non cooperative education work experiences.

The purpose of this research is to investigate the relative impact of cooperative education internships on students' full-time employment salary upon graduation under myriad circumstances of student employment arrangements. While this work is inclusive of all the computing (computer science, information systems, technology systems, etc.) students who used the Cooperative Education and Career Services office of the university between 1998 and 2006, it will highlight undergraduate students with particular emphasis on computer science majors. During the eight year period of the study data, a total of 285 computing students used the services of Cooperative Education and Career Services, 67 of whom had cooperative education internship experiences. Of the total number of computing students, 130 were undergraduates with 42 having internship experiences. The findings of this study showed that the range of salaries for students who experienced cooperative education internships is smaller than that for those who did not participate in any known cooperative education internship. In fact, while at the low end of the salary range coop undergraduate students had a full-time employment starting salary advantage of about 8:5, at the high end of the range those students who were not known to participate in coop internships had a salary advantage of about 4:1. For graduate students, the non-coop participants maintained the salary advantage at both the low and high end of the salary range reaching 2.4:1 at the high end. This is an interesting finding since it seemingly contradicts

Joseph, A., & Payne, M. (2009, June), The Impact Of Cooperative Education Internships On Full Time Employment Salaries Of Students In Computing Sciences Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5854

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