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Internship Resources Program

The Department of Information Resources (DIR) and Dott Professional & Technical Services (Dott P&T) have teamed up to begin the first Internship Resources Program (IRP) for Texas state agencies. The program offers a high-quality, low-cost alternative to traditional information technology (IT) staffing methods. By contracting interns who are actively pursuing degrees in the Computer Sciences (CS), state agencies receive the benefit of highly motivated workers with training in the latest technologies. These interns may fully participate in IT projects under the supervision of agency employees and cost significantly less than traditional professionals.

The IRP is useful for agencies of all sizes. Agencies involved in large-scale IT projects use interns to help their programming staffs work more efficiently. For example, an intern could perform database maintenance and data conversion under the supervision of a busy DBA. The IRP appeals to smaller agencies with minimal IT budgets, where an intern could make a significant contribution to a limited staff. In the world of constantly evolving technology, the principles of CS remain solid, so interns can quickly become productive on IT projects with limited instruction.

How Does the Program Work?
Who Are the Interns?
What Types of Internships Are Out There?
How Much Money Will the Program Save?
Who Should I Contact?

How Does the Program Work?
The IRP falls under the Go DIRect program. A state agency produces a Statement of Work, and Dott P&T connects the agency with the intern candidates who best meet its needs. The agency can interview the candidates and choose the intern would would best fit into its organization. At the end of the month Dott P&T bills the agency for the services, including DIR's administrative fee. Should the intern not meet the expectations of the agency, Dott P&T will replace them immediately.

Who Are the Interns?
Interns are enrolled in a university as full- or part-time students, pursuing CS degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems
  • Masters of Science in Computer Science
  • Masters of Science in Software Engineering
  • Masters of Business Administration in Management Information Systems
The interns can work 10 - 40 or more hours per week and may receive course credit for their work. Some universities offer students the opportunity to receive credit for internships for up to nine semesters, and many programs run for a full year, rather than on a semester schedule.

Many Masters CS students worked as IT professionals in the past and have returned to school for their degrees.

Several local universities also have honors programs, setting a higher standard for students enrolled in their programs. The CS curriculum provides a broad education in the science of computing. Students plan their CS programs by choosing from courses that span the full range of topics in modern computer science. Every student is expected to be proficient in the design and implementation of software systems, as well as the application of the theory of computing to that process. In addition, students develop a strong background in the hardware architectures that provide the framework for software systems and the mathematics that provides the basis for science and computing. Most programs also require students to develop a background in other scientific disciplines and to develop effective communication skills.

Universities provide students with 24-hour access to state-of-the-art computer labs running all types of operating systems and programming software.

What Types of Internships Are Out There?
Interns may work independently of their universities or participate in a school-sponsored program:

Independent Internships
Interns work directly with their supervisors to set up their schedules and job duties. Supervisors have no reporting responsibilities to these interns, although the interns may receive course credit for their work. The supervisor outlines the term of work.

School-Sponsored Programs
Interns participating in cooperative education programs (co-ops) for course credit must report their job status to their professors. Most of the reporting responsibility belongs to the intern, although some programs request that the supervisor write an evaluation of the student at the end of the program. The students often must submit a learning agreement, along with midterm and final papers to their professors. The interns schedule work hours with and receive job duties directly from their supervisor. The term of work is outlined by the supervisor and may run on a semester schedule. Several schools require a minimum GPA and class prerequisites for students participating in a co-op programs.

How Much Money Will the Program Save?
Interns generally cost less than half the price of traditional professionals. Some work/study co-op programs offer matching funds to pay for a percentage of the hourly rate for their financial aid students.

Who Should I Contact?
For more information about the IRP contact Dott P&T:

Cristina Feldott
Dott Professional & Technical Services
705 Forest View Drive
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 478-5327

Or visit the DIR website.