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. Co-ops and internships give students educationally-related work and learning experience that integrates theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skill development on the job, and contributes to the development of personal and professional maturity and ethics.
Co-ops and internships give employers the opportunity to assist in the student's development, supplement their workforce with emerging talent, and enhance their long-range recruiting efforts by evaluating students' potential for employment at graduation. And, of course, potential employers are also eager to see work experience on your resume. The professional skills these programs foster cannot be underestimated.
But co-ops and internships can play an even larger role in job searches: networking. Many graduates are often recruited at the very companies where they participated in a co-op or internship.
Work experience also helps students decide for sure that their field of study is right for them.