Co-op & Careers

Gaining experience that makes a difference
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. RIT offers a full range of experiential learning opportunities. You may, for example …
  • join a team solving business problems through industry sponsored, class-based projects.
  • work alongside a faculty member on an externally funded research project.
  • study or work abroad.
  • gain valuable work experience through internship and cooperative education—paid work assignments with corporations and organizations around the U.S. and abroad.

Cooperative education
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. Other RIT academic programs feature internship and other work opportunities consistent with industry and business interests and needs. More about co-op.

career_fairCo-op is the best way for you to immerse yourself in the real world and apply what you’re learning and experiencing while at RIT. Classes and course work take on new meaning when you have related work experience to help enrich the classroom discussion. Each year more than 3,600 students complete more than 5,300 work assignments with more than 1,900 companies and organizations from small start-up firms to Fortune 500 corporations. Last year those students generated more than $30 million in earnings through their employment with industry, business, government, and the not-for-profit sector throughout the U.S. and in 40 foreign countries.

You benefit in very real ways
The benefits to participating in co-op and other experiential education opportunities are clear:
  • You can better clarify and focus your career interests.
  • You can gain valuable workplace and work-related experience.
  • You can further develop and improve your job success skills.
  • You can make important industry contacts and build your professional network.
  • You can travel and experience new settings and new places.
  • You can generate significant earnings to help offset your college expenses.
Ultimately, you will prepare yourself to be the strongest possible candidate for employment and graduate school opportunities upon completion of your degree.

co-op_msRIT will help you along the way
No matter what your experiential education or career interests, the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services will be there to help you achieve your goals. Program Coordinators with the office are assigned to each academic program and work with you individually throughout your entire time at RIT. The office provides state-of-the-art services, educational seminars, and critical information to assist in developing and implementing your career and employment plans. A full-service website provides you with everything you need to prepare yourself for the workplace and apply to job opportunities with just the click of a mouse. Most critically, the expertise and knowledge of the staff will provide you with the insight and perspective essential to a successful job search or graduate school application.

Your successful career begins with us at RIT.