perfect progress. Co-op is a young person’s best tool for gaining experience.
From Canada to India to the U.S. and beyond, employers are investing in co-operative education programs to train and ultimately hire students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Co-op education is a three-way partnership between a university, an employer and a student. A co-op job is like a paid internship, where students earn a salary as they work with professionals in their fields of study. Some are then hired by their co-op employers.
The University of Waterloo in Canada embraced co-operative education 60 years ago, combining academic studies with work experience to aid aspiring engineers. In the 2000s, Waterloo partnered with what is now called Blackberry Limited, formerly Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry device, to hire and train students in hopes they would become employees after graduation.
“With its blend of higher learning and real-world practice, co-op education has become a proven way to prepare students for a changing world and challenges growing ever more complex,” said Dave McKay, president and CEO of financial services institution Royal Bank of Canada, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
McKay, an alumnus of the University of Waterloo’s computer science co-op program, proposed a national goal to ensure that 100 percent of Canadian undergraduate students are exposed to experiential learning before they graduate. “The business world is increasingly cross-disciplinary; education needs to be, too,” he told the Universities Canada Governing Council Chamber in April 2016.
A co-op can be great opportunities as they can give you real experience of what an actual workplace is like. If you’re aware of the exact career path you want to go down, co-ops will give you a great insight into whether or not the industry is for you.
On your co-op program, you won’t be just making the coffee, your organization will expect you to get involved just like a real employee. Work hard and you’ll be able to add these skills to your résumé and impress future employers with your wide knowledge and skills. A list of co-ops on your résumé will make you stand out from the competition.
By immersing yourself into the world of work while studying means you’re creating the opportunity to widen your industry contacts as much as possible. This is great if you know a particular sector or company is right for you and you have secured contacts in the field as this could be your route into your dream career.
Even if you don’t make use of these contacts directly, you can still utilize them as references for other future employment. Surveys have found that employers of graduates across most sectors value co-op experience highly.
Professional references a lot more valued by employers than personal ones.
If you exceed the expectations of your co-op employer, you could be asked to stay on permanently, either once your studies have completed or immediately. This is the outcome that many students hope for when undertaking co-ops. However, don’t be disheartened if this isn’t the end result of you, there will be another job out there for you, so keep working hard!
So what do you do when all signs point to having to go to University to gain any sort of advantage? Unfortunately it’s the current state of affairs that most employers will not hire you unless you have a degree for even junior or starting jobs. Once you have that degree, coming to my Mentor Program, with 1000ml with our Patent Pending training system, the only such system in the world; is the only way to gain the practical knowledge and experience that will jump start your career.
Check out our next dates below for our upcoming seminars, labs and programs, we’d love to have you there.