Information for Employers

WELCOME

On behalf of Northeastern University’s College of Computer & Information Science (CCIS) Co-op Team, we want to thank you for your interest in mentoring and supervising a co-op student. We hope you will find the experience a rewarding one and that the Co-op Program will become a major source of talent for your company.

As our Northeastern University employers have learned over the past 100 years, Cooperative education (“co-op”) has many benefits for employers. By hiring only two students, you get the equivalent of a full-time year-round employee for substantially less than it would cost to hire a degreed professional. You get intelligent, motivated students from one of the most academically challenging programs at Northeastern, who are eager to work and learn. Co-op can also serve as an excellent recruiting tool by allowing you to “test-drive” potential permanent employees with no long-term commitment. Through co-op, you get the chance to lure the best and the brightest into your company before the competition can.

Post a Co-op Job

Click here to post a co-op job. A set of guidelines and sample descriptions is available.

Co-op Timeline

We have two major co-op cycles: January – June, and July – December. Generally, job descriptions are due in Mid-January and Mid-Sept. Details below

Undergraduate Students
Job Description Due 1st Resume Referral Start Co-op End Co-op
Jan. – June Mid Sept. Mid Oct. 2nd week in Jan. End of June
July – Dec. Mid Jan. Early Feb. 1st week in July 3rd week Dec.
Graduate Students
Job Description Due 1st Resume Referral Start Co-op End Co-op
Jan. – June Mid Sept. Mid Oct. 2nd week in Jan. End of June
Jan. – Aug. Mid Sept. Mid Oct. 2nd week in Jan. End of August
July – Dec. Mid Jan. Early Feb. 1st week in July 3rd week Dec.
May – Dec. Mid Jan. Early Feb. 1st week in May 3rd week Dec.
May – Aug. Mid Jan. Early Feb. 1st week in May End of August

If you are able to identify your hiring needs and post job descriptions by the “Job Descriptions Due” dates above, you will have access to the largest pool of candidates. However, if you find you have hiring needs after the deadlines, we will work with you to identify available candidates that meet your hiring requirements.

Undergraduate students are available for co-op starting in either their second or third year of academic study depending on their major. They generally complete three 6-month co-ops, but may do less depending on their program and graduation plans.

Graduate students generally are available for either 6 or 8 month extended co-op periods and there is a smaller group available for 4 month summer co-ops.

If you have a position which starts in the middle of any co-op period (for example, a “Fall only” job), we may not have any available students at that point, but please contact us anyway. We can help you explore alternatives that may suit your needs.

How to Start a Co-op Program

Co-op Faculty Coordinators are here to assist you in creating a successful co-op program. To begin, first review the documentation below and then connect with the Co-op Faculty Coordinator assigned to your company.

Undergraduate Co-op:

A-Ha: Aileen Yates, a.yates@neu.edu, 617-373-4151

Hb-O: Melissa Peikin, m.peikin@neu.edu, 617-373-3787

P-Z: Katie Hughes, k.hughes@neu.edu, 617-373-4449

Graduate Co-op:

A-Dh: Karyn Rosen, Director of Graduate Programs, k.rosen@neu.edu, 617-373-7862

Di-Mo: Kathi Vander Laan, k.vanderlaan@neu.edu, 617-373-4693

Mp-Sr: Katie McCune, k.mccune@neu.edu, 617-373-5116

St-Z: Deb Hunt, d.hunt@neu.edu, 617-373-6830

Seattle based students: Jennifer Youngblood, j.youngblood@neu.edu, 206-419-8484

How Do I Create a Quality Co-op Assignment and Program.

Our students are in high demand. Therefore, a well thought out program will help attract the quality of students you seek, and ultimately the level of students you can recruit. High quality co-op positions lead to winning outcomes: Students are challenged to integrate their academic learning with job related experience and employers benefit from the valuable contributions that students make to the business. More guidance on creating a Quality Cooperative Education program is available.

Creating and Submitting a Job Description

Post a co-op job using this form. Employers often ask for help crafting job descriptions which will be successful in attracting students. A set of guidelines and also sample descriptions is available. To update or roll over a job description to a future co-op cycle, contacting us by email may be simpler.

The Interview Process

Students will have access to your description on our online job database. They apply to a select number of jobs, and those resumes are sent to you via email in a “resume packet.” Resume referrals generally take place every other week until you fill your position(s).

Once you receive resumes, look them over and then contact the students you are interested in directly to arrange interviews. NOTE: For best results, do this quickly! Our students are high in demand and our top students often secure co-op assignments very early into the process.

Making an Offer

Make offers to the students you’d like to hire. If they accept, hire them. That’s it! The more experienced students tend to get multiple job offers so we urge you to make your offers competitive with market rates. In addition, we ask that our co-op partners allow for students to take at least five business days after the first resume referral to make an official decision, and three business days for all resume referrals going forward. This ensures that students make informed decisions on the company they ultimately choose.

Feel free to contact the CCIS co-op faculty at any stage of this process with questions. We appreciate updates on your hiring status.

Train, Employ and Evaluate Students

Students are your employees, exclusively, during the co-op period. They are full-time workers, although temporary, so please treat them as you would any other full-time staff. Students should not be taking classes during co-op unless you have given them permission to do so.

A tip for keeping your co-op students happy and long-term: give them new experiences/skills. As long as students are learning new things and being challenged, they are more likely to want to return to your company for subsequent co-op periods or permanently after graduation.

NOTE: Contact the CCIS Co-op Team if you have problems with your co-op students. Unless you have offered the student a contract that says otherwise, co-op employment is assumed to be at-will. Because co-op is a learning experience, however, we ask that you use us as mediators between you and the student in the event of problems on the job. We can discuss problems, negotiate agreements, and we’ll even pay a visit to your work site if you think that will help. Our goal is to achieve a satisfactory working relationship between you and the student.

We ask that each manager actively participates in the student’s Goal Setting assignment, which takes place about a month into their co-op assignment. This assignment’s purpose is to facilitate discussion between the student and manager to make sure that goals and expectations on both sides are discussed. It’s a great time to “check-in” with your co-op students and often serves as an important touchstone in their professional development.

Evaluate Students

Near the end of the co-op period, managers will receive an email with log in information and a link to evaluate each student they supervise. This can be done online, or you may use whatever performance review process your company already has in place. Co-op students receive a pass/fail grade for their experience, which is largely based on your evaluation of their performance.

At this time, you should also discuss future plans for employment with the student. Are you interested in hiring them for another co-op? Full-time? Have a discussion while you can sit down in person.

Suggested Salaries

Companies set their own salaries and there is a fair amount of variability. Factors affecting salary levels include:

  • student’s level of skill and experience
  • type of position
  • industry and type of company
  • distance from campus

Students in technical degree programs such as CS/IS on average earn substantially more than non-technical students. Positions in certain creative industries such as game design or animation have traditionally paid less than the recommendations below. Although student learning is of primary importance when accepting a co-op position, there is demand for top students and salary does play a role in their decisions.

The recommended salaries listed below are based on actual earnings from the last co-op cycle. Market fluctuations, and industry, as well as the student’s experience and ability, dictate the actual salary offer.

Average CCIS Co-op Salaries
Student Level Average Salary Midpoint Salary Average top 25%
Undergraduate First Co-op $22.00 $21.00 $31.00
Undergraduate Second Co-op $23.00 $23.00 $31.00
Undergraduate Third Co-op $27.00 $25.50 $36.00
Graduate Co-op $30.00 $30.00 $35.00

In some cases, top companies are paying salaries substantially above these guidelines, however this is the exception, not the rule. The CCIS co-op team would be glad to discuss the details of your co-op position and help you sort out a competitive salary, given your industry and the level of student that you seek.