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Co-operative education work examples

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co-op student with employer

Paul, a Computer Engineering co-op student, on his work term.

Examples of co-op jobs

The selection of co-op jobs and employers is always varied and exciting. You'll have your choice of jobs to apply for, too, since we have more co-op jobs than we have students to fill them. The Engineering and Computer Science/Math Co-operative Education Program and Career Services staff is always available to offer support and guidance.

For more information about co-operative education programs at UVic, visit the main co-op site. For information about other career development opportunities, including part-time, summer and full-time work after graduation, visit the Career Services site.

Featured example job:

acdsee logoACD Systems Ltd.

ACD has penetrated the global marketplace through advanced Internet distribution and strategic partnerships with manufacturers and developers. ACD has millions of consumer users and over 33,000 corporate customers including Northwest Airlines, Microsoft, Boeing, Harvard, and Visa.

More jobs

Some examples of work recently undertaken by engineering and computer science students on co-op work terms:

Computer science

Computer science

Research In Motion

Research In Motion (RIM) is a world leader in the mobile communications market and has a history of developing breakthrough wireless solutions.

RIM's portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry wireless platform, the wireless handheld product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements.

Being an employer of almost 150 students, RIM relies on students to keep ideas fresh and current. Here, your ideas not only contribute to our company's success, but also to advancements in wireless technologies. RIM was founded in 1984 by engineering students at the University of Waterloo and today we still depend on the talent of undergraduates and new graduates to keep us on top of the latest technology.

Working in a dynamic environment, the successful candidate will be responsible for coding, testing and debugging embedded handset software. This job would also involve documenting, reviewing design docs and participating in software implementation, testing and bug fixing.

Computer engineering

Computer engineering

Rogers Communications Inc.


  • Trouble-shooting of analogue and digital circuits to component level.
  • Upgrade and creation of station documentation in Excel and CAD.
  • Facilities assembly and equipment installation.
  • Proprietary software installation and maintenance.

Software engineering

Software engineering

Electronic Arts Canada

Electronic Arts Canada (EAC) is a leading independent developer of interactive entertainment software products for PC, PlayStation, PS2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube. We've been creating award-winning and best-selling games for almost 20 years. With over 1300 employees, EAC is the largest development studio in the EA family.

We're recruiting at the speed of light and we are looking for an energetic team player to help us out. We offer a fun, casual work environment in a campus-style facility complete with cafeteria, fitness centre, soccer field and basketball court. Relax in our games area complete with billiards, air hockey, foosball, table tennis, arcade games, and a big-screen television. We also provide a highly competitive compensation package and the possibility of your future education being financed through our STAR Program.

Audio software engineer position:

The Audio Software Engineer position involves the development, support, and testing of audio tools and game development libraries that are used throughout EA to create sound FX, speech, and interactive music in many of our games.

Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering


Take a really good concept, surround it with smart, creative, motivated people, provide the tools they need to succeed, treat them with respect and believe in their ideas. That's a recipe for success and has helped Creo grow from a local company of 2 people to a global company of 4000+. We provide a unique, free-thinking, challenging work environment where the dress code is always casual and where Creoites set their own hours (flex-time).

As the world's largest supplier of pre-press equipment, Creo is leading the digital transformation of the graphic arts industry. Our products bring together software systems, precision mechanics, electronics, and optics designed from the ground up for productivity, reliability, and exceptional quality.

Job description:

You will work as part of a team assisting in both design and production support activities. As an intermediate to senior level student, you will be working on testing, detailing, and drafting, as well as problem solving and design. Activities typically include some of the following:

  • Product prototyping and testing to prove design concepts
  • Mechanical design tasks including concept development and analysis
  • Detailed design and drafting
  • Machine shop and fabrication techniques
  • Defining procedures and designing production tooling jigs
  • Product assembly and demonstration

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering

Ballard Power Systems

Ballard Power Systems is recognized as the world leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing zero-emission proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

Ballard is commercializing fuel cell engines for transportation applications and fuel cell systems for portable and stationary products. Ballard is also commercializing electric drives for fuel cell and other electric vehicles, power conversion products, and is a Tier 1 automotive supplier of friction materials for power train components.

Job description:

The measurement tools and failure modes group of Ballard Power Systems is seeking applications from second and third-year Engineering students who wish to assist in the solving of critical engineering problems. Ballard is filled with engineering graduates who are eager to work side-by-side with the next generation of young engineers.

The work will be cutting-edge, fresh, and exciting. You will spend some time developing ideas, which you will then put into practice in the laboratory. An equal mixture of hands-on and theory is typical.

Work locations

From Skookumchuk to Shanghai, our students spend co-op terms all over the world. You could find yourself working as a manufacturing engineer for General Motors of Canada in Oshawa or an Engineering Trainee at Genetron Engineering in Kowloon. Co-op gives you real-life learning -- the opportunity to expand your world.

Some more places you could end up working:

  • Amsterdam - Shell Global
  • Burnaby - BC Hydro
  • Calgary - Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Edmonton - Associated Engineering Group Ltd.
  • Fort McMurray - Syncrude Canada Ltd.
  • Osaka - Co-op Japan Program/UBC
  • Prince George - Canfor Corp.
  • Sidney - Viking Air Ltd.
  • Skookumchuk - Tembec Industries Inc.
  • Palo Alto - Hewlett Packard

More about our employers.


You'll be well paid as a co-op student. A recent survey of monthly Engineering Co-op salaries showed a monthly average of $3112, and salaries ranging up to $5750. It's a great way to fund your education, and the experience will help launch your career.

For information on salaries of engineers after you graduate, please visit APEGBC Salary Data.

Student skills

Students use and gain a wide range of competencies in co-op jobs.

Computer engineering student competencies

Computer engineering student competencies
  • Object-oriented analysis and design principles
  • Java, Swing, C, Perl, C++, HTML. Python, CSS
  • Programming and design software: TextPad, Eclipse, NetBeans, MATLAB, IntelliJ IDEA
  • Windows, UNIX, OSX and Linux operating systems
  • Web page building and design with Flash, Dreamweaver
  • GUI for programming
  • Photo editing, Adobe Photoshop
  • Programming Web Forms, Web Controls and Web Services

Mechanical engineering student competencies

Mechanical engineering student competencies
  • SolidWorks and add-ons
  • AutoCad in 2D and 3D
  • VectorWorks
  • AutoDesk Inventor and Ansys Workbench
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing
  • CNC milling and turning, including 4 and 5-axis milling and live tooling
  • Laser scanning (ranging and triangulating) and calibration
  • Stress/strain field analysis, CAM, FEA, fluid mechanics, heat/mass transfer, linkages, cams, bearings and gear ratios

Software engineering student competencies

Software engineering student competencies
  • Human factors
  • Software management
  • Software design and quality
  • Software systems and applications

Computer science student competencies:

Computer science student competencies:
  • Algorithms
  • Programming methodology
  • Scientific computing
  • Systems

Visual arts/computer science student competencies

Visual arts/computer science student competencies

The computer has become a major tool and medium for the creation and display of visual arts. The objective of this program is to prepare students to become the new mediators between the digital art and computer science domains.

  • video production
  • digital media art
  • digital photo art
  • art-related computer systems
  • designers and project managers in multimedia employment in the entertainment industry, art galleries and museums

Music/computer science student competencies

Music/computer science student competencies

Students who can work both with technology and music can be found producing music recordings, creating music for films, video games, and working in other aspects of the entertainment industry. Technology and music seem to be an ever-changing combination.

  • Production of music recordings
  • Creating music for films, video games and other aspects of the entertainment industry
  • Live performance, sampling, and compression
  • 3-D sound controllers, and other interdisciplinary research
  • Film and television audio
  • Audio for video games (e.g. Electronic Arts in Vancouver)
  • Studio recording
  • Internet audio formats: design, delivery, translation, migration
  • Audio recording formats: design and delivery
  • Music-related software: design and delivery
  • Music-related hardware: design and delivery
  • Remote, collaborative music events (including remote rehearsal and performance)
  • Music pedagogy: web design and delivery
  • Design of new (virtual) musical instruments
  • Sonic environments
  • Sonic recognition

Health information science/computer science student competencies

Health information science/computer science student competencies
  • Organization of health care systems
  • Issues involving health informatics with the fundamentals of software engineering, operating systems, programming languages, and computer hardware

Geography/computer science student competencies

Geography/computer science student competencies

Geomatics combines cartography, Computer Science, Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, spatial analysis and surveying.

  • GIS
  • Remote sensing
  • Cartography
  • Surveying
  • Spatial analysis

Students with these skills work in government agencies, forestry, agriculture, mining, surveying, resource management, oceanography, hydrography, environmental management, urban planning, public utilities, coastal zone management, transport, navigation, defense, medical epidemiology, and pollution management

Psychology/computer science student competencies

Psychology/computer science student competencies
  • Designing effective user interfaces for software/hardware
  • Understanding and working with artificial intelligence
  • Methods of biological perception
  • Determining neural modes of computation
  • Software and hardware design
  • Robotics
  • Medical technology
  • Bio and psycho metrics
  • Evaluation and rehabilitation
  • Artificial intelligence systems

Math/computer science student competencies

Math/computer science student competencies
  • Graphics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Design and analysis of algorithms
  • Cryptography
  • Computer modeling

Physics/computer science student competencies

Physics/computer science student competencies
  • Scientific computing
  • Data analysis, visualization
  • Computer modeling
  • Science education

Statistics/computer science student competencies

Statistics/computer science student competencies

Since Computer Science developed out of Mathematics the two disciplines enjoy a strong relationship.

  • Areas that use this combination of skills include bioinformatics and psychology
  • Design experiments in areas like Human Computer Interaction.
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