Cooperative Education:
Experience That Launches Careers

What sets deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT graduates apart from others isn’t just the degree they’ve earned, it’s what they’ve done before they’ve even received their degree.

RIT’s cooperative education program provides exposure–early and often–to a variety of industries and environments. These opportunities are intentional and purposeful and designed so you can hit the ground running your first day on the job. And, because of our proven track record, employers know that they have hired a solid, experienced candidate who has spent time in the real world.

A screenshot from a video showing hexagons on the left and text on the right saying: "What is Co-op?"

What is cooperative education? 

Cooperative education (co-op) allows you to gain valuable real-world experience in the workplace by alternating your classroom study with periods of full-time employment. Your co-op can offer you paid professional experience, providing you with a salary—real income that you can apply toward tuition, books and living expenses. And co-ops are a great way to develop connections and relationships that can help advance your career, add depth to your resume and make you more marketable. 

A World Leader in Co-op

RIT has the fourth oldest and one of the largest co-op programs in the world. We’ve been offering co-op for more than 100 years because we value preparedness and practice, and the myriad ways it benefits everyone. Co-op experience converts knowledge into know-how, skills into expertise, and thinkers into doers.

It’s the crucial element that makes an RIT education exceptional.


Total earned annually by RIT students on co-op


Students participate in co-op annually


Hiring Organizations

A person running tests on a motherboard

8 Reasons Why Co-op Is the Key to Success

1. High employment rate
RIT has an overall 95 percent outcomes rate for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Students gain experience early and often, apply their learning in meaningful ways, contribute to real-world problems, and build strong resumes.

2. Experience before you graduate
Through your interaction with industry experts, exploration of professional work environments, understanding of perspectives, and application of skills in real-world settings, you’ll amass solid, career-focused experience. You will be well-positioned for outstanding employment opportunities.

3. Test drive career options
Co-op is a great way to explore different jobs, industries, and types of organizations with no risk, helping you make a more informed decision about the types of jobs and work environments you most enjoy.

4. Earn a full-time salary
You’ll earn a full-time salary as you gain experience on co-op. This can be used to support your tuition and help offset college expenses, or it can set you up for financial independence after graduation.

5. No co-op fees or tuition
You won’t be charged fees or tuition for co-op, because we believe you should be able to focus on developing your skills, gaining hands-on experience, and exploring your professional future without worrying about extra expenses.

6. Extraordinary employer and alumni partnerships
Industry partnerships provide unmatched opportunities at influential, innovative companies worldwide. And, with more than 9,000 deaf and hard-of-hearing alumni working around the globe, you’ll benefit from a network of professionals ready to advise and support your career aspirations.

7. Unparalleled support
NCCC employment advisors do more than help you identify and apply to co-op positions. They continually check in, provide guidance and support, and are an invaluable resource for all deaf and hard-of-hearing students while they’re on co-op.

8. Develop the “soft skills” that lead to success
RIT can teach you the technical and analytical skills that make you a valuable employee. But the soft skills–leadership, judgment, attitude, self-confidence, etiquette awareness, professionalism–those are the competencies that truly set you apart, and the skills that can only be learned on the job.

RIT’s Outstanding Hiring Partners

We couldn’t possibly list all 3,400 of our hiring partners. It’s a list that keeps on growing.
But here’s a sample of some of the places around the world where our deaf and hard-of-hearing RIT alumni are working.

BNY Mellon's logo
Disney's logo
Dow Chemical Company's logo
Google's logo
Honda's logo
IBM's logo
Johnson & Johnson's logo
Lockheed Martin's logo
Merck's logo
Microsoft's logo
NASA's logo
Tesla's logo
Toyota's logo
Seal of the Department of Defense
Yahoo's logo
Students in business attire meet employers at the Job Fair


If you are seeking a co-op opportunity or a job after graduation, the NTID Co-op and Career Center, formerly the NTID Center on Employment, can help. NCCC employment specialists are in touch with what's happening in the current employment market and have contact with employers who are interested in hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates.

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Become a hiring partner for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and graduates.

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