Co-operative education overview

Co-operative education is a win-win where students gain relevant work experience, while employers benefit from students' energy, fresh ideas, knowledge and skills.

Co-op programs are offered at most of B.C.’s public post-secondary institutions and are available across a range of program areas, including business, science, arts, applied science and technology.

Check out the benefits of co-op education:

  • Receive paid work and gain relevant work experience.
  • Apply your classroom learning in the workplace.
  • Develop practical workplace skills and learn to market your skills to employers.
  • Build a valuable network of contacts and professional references in the field.
  • Boost your chances of landing a great job after graduation.
  • Earn money to help with your education costs.

To participate in a co-op education program, you first apply to the post-secondary education institution for your program of study. Typically, you then apply to the relevant co-op program.

Work terms are paid and generally start in January, May or September and last for approximately four to eight months. Co-op education students alternate study terms and work terms.

If you are interested in pursuing co-op education, visit the Association for Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning, BC / Yukon (ACE-WIL) for more information and to search a list of available co-op education programs.

You can also contact the post-secondary education institution directly to get full program details, including how to apply, costs and the scheduling of work terms.

Learn about technology sector co-op education and work experience programs. Visit BCIC Tech Works to find out about the BC Tech Co-op Grants Program and BCIC Innovator Skills Initiative.