Employer Resources Internships & Cooperative Education

Florida Tech Career Management Services assists employers in finding eligible students for internship and cooperative education (co-op) opportunities. Internships and co-op positions provide students with the opportunity to gain major-related work experience that prepares them for full-time professional employment. Participating in Florida Tech's internship and co-op program provides employers with low cost, motivated personnel for temporary assignments and gives them the opportunity to try out prospective professional employees. We strive to be flexible in our internship and co-op program to best meet the needs of both the student and the employer.

Internships

An internship is basically any major-related work experience. It can paid or unpaid, full-time or part-time, and may or may not be for academic credit. Internships can occur at any time in the academic year but students prefer to work in the summer.

Some academic departments require that students complete an internship and provide an internship course that students must register for. These academic internships typically require carefully monitored supervision by the employer and the student will be required to complete a term paper and presentation at the end of their experience. Please contact Career Management Services about formal academic internships and we will refer you to the appropriate academic department.

Students in other academic departments can register for co-op credit for their internship experience if they desire or need to register for an academic course in order to participate in an internship. Students must meet eligibility requirements set forth by both the university and the employer in order to register for co-op credit.

Employers interested in hiring interns from Florida Tech can post their internship listing online by going to Panther Career Link, request resumes from Career Management Services, set up on-campus interviews, and are encouraged to attend our bi-annual career fairs.

Please contact Career Management Services if you have any questions about hiring Florida Tech interns at 321-674-7575 or email dlewis@fit.edu

*A note on Unpaid Internships*

The U.S. Department of Labor has outlined a list of criteria that ALL must be met in order for an internship to be unpaid. Are you complying with The Fair Labor Standards Act?

  1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school
  2. The training is for the benefit of the trainee;
  3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under close observation;
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period; and
  6. The employer and the trainee understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

Cooperative Education

The co-op program at Florida Tech is structured in a flexible way to meet the diverse needs of students and employers. Students who need or desire credit for an internship are encouraged to register for co-op credit although we can accommodate structured multi-term work arrangements that are typical of co-op programs.

The parallel co-op program accommodates a part-time work schedule with a full-time class schedule. Students may work from 10-25 hours per week in a job related to their major and will receive from 1-2 academic credits depending on the number of hours worked in the academic semester.

The full-time co-op program accommodates a full-time work schedule of 40 hours per week and students receive 3 hours of academic credit. Students can either alternate full-time periods of work with full-time periods of study; work two semesters back-to-back; work two or more summer semesters, or work for one semester. Employers can specify the type of work schedule that best meets their needs.   The College of Engineering also offers a structured co-op program called ProTrack where students can complete multiple work experiences and still graduate in four years.  For more information go to ProTrack.

In order to participate in the Florida Techs co-op program employers are required to provide a position description. It is expected that the employer will provide meaningful and increasingly responsible work assignments related to the student's major field of study, provide adequate professional supervision, and provide a written evaluation at the end of the work period to Career Management Services.

Please contact Career Management Services if you have any questions about hiring Florida Tech co-ops at 321-674-7179 or email eminta@fit.edu.


Hiring International Students

International students on F-1 visas may be eligible to work full-time or part-time off campus in positions that are directly related to their major and for which they will receive academic credit. Students must be approved by the University to participate in a co-op or internship and international students will receive work authorization through Curricular Practical Training from the Office of International Students and Scholars. Employers will typically need to provide a written job offer and may need to fill out other forms depending on the nature of the co-op or internship. The student must not begin working before they receive proper work authorization and can only work during the time that is specified on their authorization form. Students must also begin their work experience at the begining of the academic semester.  Employers who wish to hire an international student for an internship or co-op need to plan well in advance of the hiring date to ensure all paperwork is completed in time for the student to begin working at the appropriate time.

Questions about work authorization status should be directed to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at 321-674-8053.