Co-op for Employers
Why Hire a Co-op Student?
- Integral part of workforce plan—four, six, and eight month placements allows students to work on and contribute to long-term projects
- Students bring ideas and innovation with up-to-date technical knowledge and skills
- Talent pipeline – convert co-ops into full-time hires
- Corporate branding
- Enhance school partnership
- Lower cost of labor—students paid hourly based on experience level, no fringe benefits, no recruitment costs
- International students do not require an H1B Visa and there are no affiliated sponsorship fees
Leverage the Co-op Advantage
Our co-op coordinators are dedicated to collaborating with employers to develop innovative and meaningful programs to engage our talented students. Our various recruitment options provide employers with cost effective approaches to hiring, training, evaluating and on-boarding. In an economy in which companies compete for top talent with in-demand technical skills, co-op provides a pipeline of professionals with up to 18 months of professional experience and a competitive edge in solving today’s business problems.
College of Engineering Programs
Northeastern’s co-op program is for both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in BS, MS, and PhD degrees in over 60 engineering programs.
Undergraduate students typically experience six month co-ops from January–June or from July–December. Although you post a job at any time, the time frames suggested below are ideal and will enable you to reach more students.
Graduate students typically experience four, six, or eight month co-ops from January-June, July-December, January-August, May-December or May-August.
More Employer Information
COE co-op students are in high demand with many job options. In today’s highly competitive job market, you want to attract the students who best fit the job and your organization—and it all starts with the job description. Here are a few tips:
- Define your business needs and identify how the co-op student will contribute to your organization.
- Think about projects, timelines, planning, processes, required skill sets, communications, and management. Develop a set of key responsibilities and rank them in order of priority.
- Be as comprehensive as possible when describing the job, and ensure that its responsibilities are both important and achievable.
Submit a new co-op position or repost a current one through NUcareers.
It is easy to post a new co-op position or re-post a prior one through NUcareers, Northeastern’s one-stop shop for job postings. Just follow the instructions to post your co-op position(s). When completing the online form, remember to select “Engineering” from the NU Primary Contact College dropdown menu.
If you have any questions about posting your position please contact your Co-op Coordinator.
These examples are taken from actual co-op job descriptions, but are changed to preserve the identity of the company, and do not represent currently available positions.
Below are links to sample job descriptions for a variety of majors:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Systems Engineering (Graduate Only)
- Data Analytics Engineering (Graduate Only)
- Energy Systems (Graduate Only)
- Electrical Engineering
- Engineering Management (Graduate Only)
- Environmental Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Information Systems (Graduate Only)
- Mechanical Engineering
- Operations Research (Graduate Only)
- Telecommunication Networks (Graduate Only)
Please view the Cooperative Education and Career Development Employer Handbook, which describes the role employers play in the co-op process. Students are your employees, exclusively, during the co-op period. They are full-time, temporary workers, and we request that they be treated in the same manner as other full-time staff.
When Hiring a Co-op Student, Consider the Following Responsibilities:
- Per federal law, the student should be hired as an employee, not as a contractor.
- Throughout the co-op, ensure ample work is given related to the job accepted.
- Help the student develop learning outcomes at the beginning of the co-op.
- Provide mentorship and training to the student throughout the co-op.
- Notify your Co-op Coordinator of any concerns as they arise.
- Complete a student evaluation at the end of the co-op.
For additional information on best practices for training, enhancing the co-op experience, learning outcomes, student evaluations, and addressing student issues please contact your Co-op Coordinator.
When you become an employer partner of Northeastern’s College of Engineering, you work with a dedicated Co-op Faculty Coordinator to assist you throughout the co-op process. Employers who wish to post positions spanning multiple engineering departments may work with a team of coordinators to a successful co-op search. These expert faculty members work within the structured program to support you and students throughout the co-op process.
Your Co-op Coordinator(s) can help you to:
- Determine qualifications (required courses, skills, etc.) to identify the best applicants
- Inform you of upcoming program deadlines
- Address any issues that should arise while a student is on co-op
In addition to placing students in co-ops across the U.S., students are able to participate in co-ops across the world. The College of Engineering has a team dedicated to working with our global employer partners to help navigate the process of sourcing and hiring a student from Northeastern, including working with U.S. multinational employers with global positions at their locations abroad.
Tips for Global Employers:
- Students speak fluent English but are not required to speak the language of the country (unless stated in the job description)
- Scholarship funds are available to students to help with travel costs
- Full-time visa specialists are available to work with you and your co-op student
- Students are compensated similarly to local interns
- Assistance with housing is appreciated by not required
For additional information about Global Co-op, please contact Sally Conant, Global Co-op Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do I need to make a long-term commitment with the University to become a co-op employer?
Co-op does not require a long-term commitment. You decide every six months whether your organization will continue to hire co-op students.
- Are students unenrolled from Northeastern while on co-op and must an employer provide benefits?
Students continue to be recognized as full-time students while on co-op and only require company benefits if state legislation requires it. Students should be considered temporary, full-time workers, but not independent contractors.
- Is there a fee for employers participating in the co-op program?
- Is there an obligation to hire a student after a job description is posted?
While we hope that you will hire, posting a co-op position does not obligate you to hire a student. We understand that staffing needs and financial resources may change.
- How do I make an offer to a student?
You should reach out to the student directly with the terms of the offer. Please note that we request that students be given 3 business days to make a decision. It is helpful to include wage, start date, end date, position title, and any benefits in the offer.
- Is it difficult to hire an international student and do I need to sponsor their student visa?
There are no additional fees or employer paperwork required to hire an international student and you do not need to sponsor their visa. The Office of Global Services (OGS) at Northeastern University coordinates all student documentation to ensure compliance with federal employment regulations.
- What if I can’t hire an international student?
If you are only legally allowed to hire U.S. Citizens/permanent residents due to federal regulations (ITAR etc.), please contact your Co-op Coordinator so the proper documentation can be added to the job description in NUcareers. If you are not legally bound to hiring only U.S. Citizens/permanent residents, your Co-op Coordinator cannot screen for visa status.
- How much do students get paid?
Companies determine the salaries for co-op positions. If you are trying to benchmark or remain competitive, please contact your Co-op Coordinator as he/she will be able to give you the appropriate information for your job.
- Who do I contact if an issue arises while a student is on co-op?
Your Co-op Coordinator will assist you with any concerns related to the co-op process or a co-op student. We encourage you to reach out if problems arise.
- Can students take classes while on co-op?
Students are committed to working full-time while on co-op. However, we allow undergraduate students to take a class while on co-op if it fits with their work schedule. We ask students to speak to their co-op job manager before enrolling in a course. In some situations, students can take evening classes, but if a class falls during the workday it is at the manager’s discretion to approve whether the student can take the class and adjust his or her work hours to make up the time. Masters-level students are expected to seek approval from their advisor if they want to take a class while on co-op .