Be advised: coops are paying less

My daughter is attending the University of Cincinnati,which is well-known for their coop program that is integrated into the curriculum.

One interesting development that I and university advisors are seeing is that coops,which used to pay in the past, are now becoming increasingly unpaid or lower paid than before. In fact, due to the economy some firms aren’t taking interns or coops at all! Be advised of this change as a result of the economic downturn.

Thanks for the heads-up Taxguy, I’ll be starting at DAAP in the fall. Just gives me one more reason to start limiting my spending :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t complain too much (even though it does suck). At least they are proactive enough to make sure that the coops are there. DAAP is so far ahead of most of the other “top-tier” schools on this account it’s kind of sad. Talk about value! Nearly 2 years of real, big-time, experience by the time you graduate is definitely enough to make me pine for a do-over.

I agree, getting paid, especially well is just a bonus because putting that on your resume when you graduate is where you really get paid. But I do worry some firms or companies use interns as the new free slave labor, only you have to apply for it. But just look on coroflot, you need 2 years experience to get a junior design position.

I would be real careful about assuming internships and co-ops will give you any years of experience. Not everyone considers internship and coop experience in that 1 or 2 years of experience.

On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should turn any down, paid or unpaid.

It seems like a lot of places expect you have had a few (not just one) internships, and then you’re at zero in the experience column. If you haven’t had any, good luck, you’re in the negatives.

I think you need to take internships with a grain of salt. I think the portfolio and the candidate are the big considerations, internship experience itself is a third - it’s what someone can bring to the table FROM that internship that matters.

Some companies will have interns that do nothing but sketch all day, or some that aren’t even doing design work - they’re just low-paid office helpers.

The University of Cincinnati does a pretty good job of setting their students up with jobs that aren’t just office workers - I’m not saying it doesn’t happen - but a majority of students find themselves with really great jobs where they get to see what they work on go into production.

And I don’t believe ID has been affected (at least at UC) with the economy as much as other majors. As a sophomore, most of my classmates and I are being paid at least 11 an hour - pretty decent for a starting job. This is all while most of the digital design sophomore are getting paid under 10 - and having major difficulty finding jobs. Some of them got turned down by 6 or more companies who were not hiring due to the economy. Where as most ID students got a few call backs for interviews at least. Of course there are exceptions to all of this.

Personally, I am being paid 15 an hour as a sophomore with little real experience in the design field “real world.” The other jobs I looked at paid 13 (two other ones.)

Co-op is a great experience, and it really is nice that we do get paid while on co-op.

Yes, a number of digital design students are having a tough time with coops,which is surprising considering their broad based art, software and programming expertise. I think that it is because it is an emerging major and quite new compared to the other majors at DAAP.

However, my daughter was just offered a coop in her sophomore year at $15 per hour in California and a separate job for only $7 in a low cost of living area . The jobs are there.

In addition, these are NOT administrative jobs. They are real jobs with real world experience. For example, the firm that my daughter will be working for does web sites for most of the major movie studios including trailers.

However, she was turned down by six jobs and some of her friends have had no offers. I think having a strong porfolio and a strong GPA does help these kids get the better jobs. ID probably has more jobs since UC is more well known for that.