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Northeastern University

Family finances: Co-ops put college students to work

Family finances: Co-ops put college students to work

In a competitive job market, many college graduates find that a degree isn't always enough to secure a lucrative job offer. Employers also want workers who have real-world experience.

That's where cooperative education programs, also known as co-ops, come in. These programs have long offered students a way to gain professional work experience while enrolled in school full-time. Students typically begin college with a year of full-time study, then alternate between traditional academic semesters and full-time work -- usually for pay -- in their chosen field in three- to six-month stretches. Most students complete between one and five co-op stints, usually gaining at least a year...

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