Frequently Asked Questions
What is Pathmaker?
Pathmaker is a residential intern program at Purdue University. Participants perform entry-level engineering and computer science jobs for companies while still enrolled as full-time students. The jobs are located on campus, in the nearby Purdue Research Park, or in company offices in West Lafayette. Pathmaker is currently in year two of a planned three-year pilot phase.
Purdue produces the highest number of undergraduate students with degrees in engineering or engineering-related technology fields of any institution in the United States, according to yearly data from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Companies involved in the Pathmaker program recruit plenty of qualified students from Purdue as a matter of course. Pathmaker gives them an early opportunity to identify potential future employees.
What Students are Involved?
The majority of students involved in Pathmaker major in computer science or engineering, but the program employs students studying agriculture, liberal arts and sciences as well. Nearly 100 students currently participate in the Pathmaker program.
What are the Benefits?
Students involved in Pathmaker gain real-world work experience in their chosen field, which is one of the college experiences that have been identified by the Gallup-Purdue Index as contributing to success later in life. Also, students gain part-time employment that often pays more than they would earn in fast-food or retail service jobs. This helps students with college affordability, a significant issue today, one of ten 10 major initiatives in Purdue President Mitch Daniels' Purdue Moves plan.
Companies often need extra people for a variety of limited-duration, entrylevel tasks, such as benchmarking and alpha and beta testing, or preliminary security risk assessment. Purdue students are being trained to perform such tasks, giving participating companies hiring flexibility. The program also enables the companies to identify the highest-performing students and hire them as permanent employees when they graduate.