It's perhaps no surprise to Co-op staff at universities, colleges and institutes that students who pursue Co-operative Education outperform their non Co-op peers on the job market. But for anyone who is less familiar with how Co-op works, here are some studies from across North America that show the power of this widespread experiential model:
Council of Ontario Universities
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This report suggests that students who do Co-op earn more, enjoy a higher employment rate and are more likely to pay off their student debt within two years.
Journal of Co-operative Education and Internships
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In a longitudinal study of close to 10,000 students over a six-year period, Drysdale and Goyder (2010) found that university co-op graduates earned salaries 22.2% higher than those of their non-co-op peers in their first year in the workforce. These findings were published in the Cooperative Education and Internship Association's Journal of Cooperative Education and Internships.
Simon Fraser University
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SFU surveyed 1,500 of their alumni who graduated between 1995 and 2010. Their study found that, in general, those who completed more co-op work semesters found work faster and earned more in their first and subsequent positions. 94% of respondents felt they had a competitive advantage on the job market over their non co-op peers.
University of Waterloo
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This study shows that in general, co-op students are more likely to land more prestigious, better paying jobs than their non co-op peers.