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Oklahoma State University

The Pros and Cons of Cooperative Education

While Co-op is a terrific experience, it is not necessarily the best choice for everyone. There are numerous benefits, but there are a few trade-offs. Before applying for employment as a Co-op, consider the advantages and disadvantages.


  • Up to a year’s worth of engineering experience under the supervision of an engineer.
  • An established relationship with a company leading to potential permanent employment.
  • Job-seeking skills including job search techniques, resume writing, interviewing, and other skills that will be required upon graduation.
  • Professional development including soft skills required for becoming a successful engineer, such as technical writing and presentation, interpersonal, time manage-ment, and professional etiquette.
  • A competitive salary to help pay college expenses.
  • An opportunity for a break from the routine of classes while reinforcing academic knowledge.
  • A competitive edge for obtaining a career upon graduation.


  • Graduation is delayed by a semester or more.
  • Disruption of campus activities and social ties while on the work experience.