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 enroll in co-op must, at least, be in their second year of study, and have a cumulative gpa of 2.5 or more. Students who have less than three study periods left cannot enroll 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: Hayly Thackery Year: 4th Degree: BCS
Employer: Lockheed Martin and Singolar Inc.
“I would highly recommend Acadia's co-op program to all students in Computer Science. It gave me vital work experience that can't be taught in a classroom. Being able to work on large scale, long term projects is difficult to do in a classroom setting. Also as a bonus, I was immediately offered a position at the place where I completed my final co-op once I graduated.”
Name: Matthew Helmer Year: 4th Degree: BCS
Employer: Capital District Health Authority, Precision Hawk Inc, and Singolar Inc.
“The co-op program at Acadia gave me the opportunity to explore different areas of software development, and to become better prepared for the transition from academics to the workforce. I would recommend the co-op program to anyone and everyone. It gives you the chance to explore paths that will influence the courses you want to take and who you want to work for after graduation.”
Name: Matthew Tees Year: 4th Degree: BCS
Employer: Dell Computers Inc. and Communications Security Establishment.
“I believe the co-op program offered me experience that I wouldn't have been able to obtain through just academics. It helped me become a better computer scientist and grow as a person. I would definitely recommend the co-op program if you are wanting to get the most out of your education at Acadia.”
Name: Ryan Pachal Year: 4th Degree: BCS
Employer: Salesforce, Singolar Inc, and Content Bloom
"During my work terms I was able to improve my technical skills, learn new programming languages, and obtain experience with the day-to-day routine of working for a tech company. The most valuable thing I gained from co-op was exploring different fields of computer science, such as web development, video game development, and artificial intelligence; so, I could decide what type of job I wanted to pursue after graduating. I recommend co-op to all computer science students."
For more details on co-op, please visit Acadia University's co-op website.