Career preparation and hands-on experience are central to our goals for our students. And foundational to that preparation are our expert faculty, advanced learning and research facilities, and carefully engineered academic and paracurricular programs.
Two such programs are cooperative education and internships, both of which provide students hands-on work experience that relates directly to their program of study-and any specialization they might have within the major. Both programs are managed by Career Development Services, in collaboration with academic departments and the Honors College.
In the last 10 years, nearly 2,600 different companies have hired NJIT students for cooperative education assignments. Those companies range from large, multinational firms to small start-ups in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Recent co-op employers have included Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil, IBM, Parette Somjen Architects, Citigroup, Lockheed Martin, Schoor DePalma, and Merck Sharp & Dohme.
What is cooperative education?
Cooperative education at NJIT is off-campus work experience that offers students both wages and academic credit. Co-ops are available to undergraduates and graduates, including international students, in all academic programs. (For full details, visit the Career Development Services website.)
Co-op work assignments take place during a semester or over the summer, and can be full time or part time. When the co-op assignment is completed, students are awarded three academic credits.
How do internships work?
General internships at NJIT are off-campus positions that provide a learning experience and may be related to a student's major. Work assignments vary in length, and usually coincide with a semester or the summer. (See the Career Development Services website for more details.)
What's the difference between co-ops and internships?
Through co-op assignments students earn wages and three academic credits. But the main purpose of an internship is experience; they don't offer academic credit, and some are unpaid. The level of faculty involvement also differs: All co-ops are formally overseen by faculty advisors, but advising for internships is voluntary and student-initiated.
How do co-ops and internships help students?
Co-ops and internships give students the chance to put their learning to use. As theoretical knowledge and practical experience reinforce each other, students begin to understand their field in a new way—and it's this synthesis that makes the student ready to join the workforce.
Of course, employers are also eager to see work experience on a resume, and the professional skills these programs foster cannot be underestimated. But co-ops and internships can play an even larger role in job searches: Recent graduates are often recruited at the very companies where they had their co-op or internship.
Work experience also helps students decide for sure that their field of study is right for them. Undergraduate students can start applying for co-ops as early as their fourth semester. This gives them the chance to make decisions about their electives and concentrations-and even their major program-before it's too late. And by taking part in more than one program, they can experience different aspects of an industry, corporate cultures, and management styles.
How do co-ops & internships help employers?
Large and small companies, as well as public sector and nonprofit organizations, have found these programs invaluable for filling short-term positions and building a cost-effective, productive system of recruiting future graduates.
- For a list of additional job-recruitment services available to companies, visit Career Development Services' employer services website.