Co-operative Education allows students to obtain real work experience in the Computer Science field before graduation. Taking two years of education into the workplace, students are able to apply the knowledge they learned in class to the workplace environment. Increasing their chance of full-time employment post-graduation, establishing valuable employer contacts, and earning a competitive salary are just some of the numerous advantages co-op presents.
In the Computer Science field, having real work experience before graduation provides a crucial edge for obtaining post-graduation employment. Applying programming knowledge and other skills students are taught in class to real world problems gives the hands on experience not found in a classroom. Co-op has helped many students choose which field in Computer Science they are most interested in by exposing them to possible future workplace environments.
Students wishing to enrol in co-op must, at least, be in there second year of study, and have a cumulative gpa of 2.5 or more. Students which have less than three study periods left cannot enrol in co-op.
Computer Science students must complete three four-month work terms (with an optional fourth), or a 12 or 16 month internship in order to fulfill their Co-op option. Before entering the workforce, students attend co-op workshops and receive one-on-one coaching from a co-op coordinator, where skills such as resume design, business ethics, interview tips, etc. are improved.
Name: Yi-Wen Chen (Stasia) Year: 4th Degree: BCS I'm a 4th year CS student currently working on a 16-month internship at RIM (Reasearch In Motion) which started in January. I've worked in Asia and Europe before I came to Canada and there is no doubt in my mind that my co-op experience in Canada has broadened my knowledge in the interaction with other colleagues of various cultural backgrounds. Acadia University's co-op program has proved an invaluable experience for me and I believe I am ready to take on the global market upon graduation. I strongly encourage students to enroll in the co-op program as I believe the best place to sharpen your skills is in the workforce.
Name: Jude Abbey Year: 4th Degree: BCS Co-op for me was a really fun experience. I applied many skills I had learned in classes, especially my software engineering course, where learning about the various stages of software development proved quite useful. For my workterm at CIBC Technology and Operations group,I worked as a test analyst but also had the chance to job shadow other positions. From this, I was able to get a general feel of the job market as well as the opportunities and requirements it had. My attitude towards classes and studying changed when I came back from school because I now had an idea of what I want to do and what I need to do to get there.
Name: Philip Wilder Year: 5th Degree: BCS Having been in the co-op program for 16 months, I can say, without hestiation, that I would recommend it to anyone. I was able to both work here at Acadia University and with IBM in Ottawa. Each of these opportunities had their own unique challenges and allowed me to hone skills I learned in the classroom in a real work environment. Each job has also provided me the opportunity to meet and learn from capable professionals and given me valuable work experience I can now put on my resume. Give co-operative education a chance, you'll be glad you did!
For more details on co-op, please visit Acadia University's co-op website.