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Last Work Term before Graduation

  1. Mar 22, 2010 #1
    I am in the Mechanical engineering co-op program. For those unfamiliar with this program, instead of taking 4 years to finish my degree I have taken 5 years and have earned 1 year of work experience. I will have my final work term in the summer and I've been debating which job I should take.

    a) A relatively relaxing, "easy" job. This job has nice co-workers, good location but the work experience isn't really good. I've been working here since January and have been doing the same thing since day 3. The job pays $12k for the 4 months of summer.

    b) A research position helping one of the professors at my university. This job should be more challenging, location is just as good, and I think I'll be able to learn more/have more things to talk about during a job interview. The job pays $4k for the 4 months of summer.

    I want a job in industry when I graduate...is it worth given up the $8k for more experience in research? I have already taken a research job last summer. Do people hiring in industry even care about research experience?

    Thank you for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2010 #2
    Can you accomplish anything in your industry job? Employers prefer to hire people who can talk about things they've accomplished - ways they've improved the organizations they've worked with. If you can quantify some improvement you've made, that will be the best way to build experience. It's usually very hard to do this in a research job, so it's hard for employers to tell if you really did anything or if you just put it on your resume and maybe showed up and watched for a little while.

    In general, at the undergrad level, employers of engineers will care much more about work experience, especially if you already have some research on your resume. There are plenty of exceptions of course, so it all depends on the specifics.
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