Why do graduates of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology earn an average starting salary of more than $56,000?
In part because 75 percent of our graduates gain real-life experience through internships and co-ops. In fact, the effect of co-op and internship experience on starting salary offers is approximately $4,000.
So what's the big deal?
Co-ops and internships provide excellent opportunities for student to integrate their classroom learning with "real world" work experience in industry. Co-ops are often six to eight months in length (semester plus summer) and internships are usually for the summer or part-time during the school year. And the best part is the average salary our student receive from co-ops and internships is more than $16 per hour. Some employers even provide free housing and relocation expenses.
- Gain valuable work experience.
- Confirm or refocus your career choice
- Increase your competitive edge for full-time employment with higher starting salary offers.
- Develop communication and teamwork skills
- Earn money to help pay for your college degree
- Enhance your development as an emerging professional.
- Obtain academic credit
This previous summer more than 100 employers (PDF) in 29 states. Europe, and Africa hired our students for co-ops or internships.
Organizations hiring School of Mines students include Barrick Gold, Bobcat, NASA, Cargill, Nucor, John Deere, Kiewit, and others. In addition to national corporations, many students are expanding their education through experiences with South Dakota employers — 41 percent in fact. These companies and agencies include Black Hills Power, Daktronics, Sanford Underground Lab, Dakota Power, South Dakota Department of Transportation, Raven, and others