At RIT, cutting-edge academic programs, outstanding faculty, and first-rate classroom and laboratory facilities provide you with a great educational experience. But today’s world demands more. You need to be prepared for the real challenges and opportunities you will experience once you’ve graduated. Your education must be real. It must be relevant. It must be tested in real-world settings and on real-world problems before you graduate. Experiential education allows you to do that—and more.
Cooperative education (co-op) is the most extensive and intensive of RIT’s experiential education opportunities. Co-op is full-time, paid work experience directly related to your course of study and career interests. Many academic programs require co-op, while others make it available on an optional basis. Each year more than 3,500 students from programs across RIT colleges complete more than 5,500 work assignments with nearly 2,000 companies and organizations. Last year, those students generated more than $30 million in earnings through their employment with industry, business, government, and the not-for-profit sector in the U.S. and in 40 other countries.
All of RIT’s Engineering programs require approximately one year of co-op work experience. Beginning after the second year of academics, students alternate periods of full-time work with periods of full-time academic study. Program Coordinators are assigned to each academic major and work with students individually from the beginning of co-op through career entry upon graduation and beyond. The office provides state-of-the-art resources, a specially designed series of educational seminars to cover every aspect of the job search process, including identifying and contacting employers, résumé preparation, communication and interviewing techniques, and salary negotiation. Students have the opportunity to interact with employer representatives throughout the year at university-wide career fairs, individual company on-campus recruiting activities, special topic workshops, and networking events. Students earn a competitive salary—income that can be applied toward tuition, books, and living expenses—while developing skills that cannot be mastered in the classroom or laboratory, including hands-on leadership, decision making, professionalism, and independence. Engineering co-op positions are among the most exciting, diverse, and high paying opportunities available and many students receive full-time job offers from their co-op employers. Students often comment on how much more meaningful they find their academics once they have been out on co-op – they see how what they learn in the classroom relates to real world situations.
A sampling of our more than 500 co-op partners includes:
For more information on RIT’s outstanding co-op program go to: http://www.rit.edu/co-op/careers