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Co-Op for Engineers

  1. Jun 20, 2011 #1
    I recently found out that my university offers a co-op program for engineers, wherein I can spend two or three semesters working in industry (I'm thinking of doing something like a spring/summer session back to back), keep my full-time status (so I don't have to start paying back loans), and earn a pretty decent salary while doing it (they said the average is around 3300/month). This last part interests me, since I could earn nearly $30k over a nine month stretch (spring and summer combined). That'd pay for over a year of college!

    However, only about 10% of the engineering students participate in this program, which leads me to believe that there are cons that I'm not considering. Are the other 90% just a bunch of idiots for not partaking? It sounds like a really great way to get work experience prior to graduation.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2011 #2
    You'd have to actually get said job that you are co-oping with. Thats probably the hard part. Second its not easy to balance school (especially with engineering) with a real job.


    Other than that its a great thing. Experience is extremely valuable.
     
  4. Jun 20, 2011 #3
    Probably.

    Well, the program is such that you're not actually taking classes while working. Or do you mean just bouncing back and forth between school and job?
     
  5. Jun 20, 2011 #4
    I dunno how it is at your school, but at mine theres generally not alot of options for classes and generally businesses don't work at night. So you'll have to make some sacrifices as to which classes you could take. Could potentially delay graduation (though in my eyes, the experience is worth that but I'm usually not paying tuition and if I do its only a bit + books)

    and yes, bouncing between classes, fitting in hw and study time, etc. The co-op program at my school is simply getting up to 3 credits for working a related job on the side. I don't know if what you're talking about is different than that.
     
  6. Jun 20, 2011 #5
    It is. I wouldn't be taking classes. It isn't something you'd do on the side. Especially since many of the employers are out of state, let alone out of the city.
     
  7. Jun 20, 2011 #6
    Oh well then the obvious downsides that I can see is that you'd have to get out of state/city for awhile which isnt the easiest decision for alot for people. Plus if you're not going to be taking any classes than wouldn't graduate much later? I'd see that as a major put off for people.
     
  8. Jun 20, 2011 #7
    I can 100%, unequivocally, without a doubt say go for it and take a co-op placement (9 months being ideal). The work experience is phenomenal and adds to your resume greatly. Even if you are required to move out of state/town, it's a great experience. In most situations, it is covered as a term and you will be considered enrolled at the university such that you shouldn't have to worry about loans. Just make sure your courses line up!

    The related work experience makes it without a doubt a dumb decision to TURN down!
     
  9. Jun 20, 2011 #8
    I'm currently interning at a company that could easier turn into a co-op if I wanted it to. It is well worth the experience and here's the thing...

    Employers don't care how long it takes you to graduate. They like seeing real experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
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