This summer, students are rushing to get temporary jobs in dotcoms, even though the fortunes of these companies have taken a nosedive in recent months. Student counsellors said this was due to students' belief that the Internet-related experience would be a valuable asset on their graduation. In the past two years, students had a tough time finding summer jobs, mainly because of the Asian financial crisis; but this year, thanks to an upbeat economy and a boom in Internet-related companies, job-seeking opportunities abound. Students with computer knowledge, computer design skills and dual language abilities are being taken up by these companies faster than you can say 'computer literate'. 'Last year, there were very few Web-design jobs available during the summer. But this year, there is a sudden demand. Students with knowledge in digital graphic communications and computer programming get summer jobs with the dotcom companies easily,' said Tim Wong, deputy director of corporate affairs at Baptist University. 'Students also take up summer jobs promoting Web pages, as a result of the boom in Internet business. Those with dual language skills are placed in jobs such as translation, editing and proofreading with Web-page companies. This is one of the most significant trends.' Besides IT jobs, there is an increase in marketing jobs being offered by the dotcom companies as they expand their businesses. Interestingly, there is also a surge in summer-job offers from manufacturing companies. Louisa Li, director of Careers Education and Placement Centre at the University of Hong Kong, said: 'This year, manufacturing companies are recruiting salesmen and promoters. Though many manufacturing activities have been moved to the mainland, the sales and marketing function is still in Hong Kong.' Placements for the university's students this summer have increased by 42 per cent to the end of last month. 'Most students are keen to gain work experience during the summer, but some may participate in industrial training and summer courses and student activities and do some travelling,' said Cheng Chi-hang, executive officer of the Student Counselling Service at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Ben Li, an undergraduate in engineering, has chosen not to work this summer and taken a Putonghua course and guitar lessons. 'During the school term, there is little time to do these courses. Besides working experience, language skills are important and Putonghua will be helpful to my future course of work,' he said. Compared with previous years, students were more concerned about saving money and travelling now, said Ms Li of the University of Hong Kong. Actuarial science graduate Wallace Yu is working as a summer intern in an investment bank. He will save a substantial portion of his monthly salary of more than HK$10,000 for the tuition fees of his master's degree in September. The average local summer jobs pay HK$8,000 to HK$10,000 a month, with some bigger companies paying more. Students make an average of HK$6,000 a month with government jobs, for which they will be placed in various departments with duties ranging from collecting air pollution samples to helping the mentally disabled. Computer-related jobs are paid an average of HK$8,000 to HK$10,000 a month. There is also a greater demand for summer jobs as sales promoters, telesales marketeers and interviewers, as well as in company roadshows. Some are paid an average of HK$800 a day while others are paid on a commission basis. Most students, when searching for a summer job, prioritise the relevance of the jobs to their fields of studies, followed by monetary rewards. 'They know what their ideal job is, even for summer jobs - something that pays well and is relevant to their preferred career and studies,' said Ms Li. 'We have students who are from the biology and religious studies streams and show interest in Web-page design. They are now working in these companies as they see the market,' said Mr Wong of Baptist University. Not all students go for money. Many will work in voluntary institutions and welfare centres during the summer.