Getting from college to a paycheck is a big worry for young adults; in 2011, only 18% of college grads had job offers by the end of April before graduation, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
That’s lending new appeal to a century-old college program long disdained by elite schools as “vocational education” – the co-op plan.
Students in co-op programs alternate classroom courses with several months’ paid or unpaid work related to their major, earning college credit from the experience. Students often need five years to graduate from co-op programs, but universities that offer them say co-op grads get job offers at a rate well above average, and applicants are beating a path to their doors. Such programs are especially hot in a tight job market where employers are less likely to take a chance on inexperienced graduates or to offer on-the-job training.
Co-op programs are most common in engineering and the sciences, but they are increasingly popular in other majors as well. Their name derives from the schools’ and participating employers’ standing agreements to cooperate; the employers set up work assignments that the university/college approves as worthy of college credit…
Some Practical Experience with that Degree?