Difference Between Co-op and Internship

Co-ops are For college and high school scholars who want to use their skills and abilities for gaining experience in their chosen career path. Internships can provide beneficial experiences. These experiences may lead to a job offer or assist you in standing out as a better candidate when applying for employment after graduation.

Co-op vs Internship

The main difference between Co-op and Internship is that Co-op is a word that refers to a multi-work term arrangement with one employer, often involving at least three work periods that alternate with school terms. The phrase “internship” generally refers to a short-time work assignment, usually over the summer but not necessarily.

Co Op vs Internship 1

A co-op is a category of teaching programs. It combines the strategy of academic institutions with the management of practical experience in the workplace. The term “co-op” refers to the mutually beneficial connection that exists between schools and institutions, students, and companies who engage in the co-op program.

Internships are short-duration programs designed to provide hands-on training in certain professions. Internship programs are often created for students interested in learning about a specific career. Internships also provide the opportunity to learn similar skills in the business sector of the host firm. Internships are frequently part-time positions.

Comparison Table Between Co-op and Internship

Parameters of ComparisonCo-opInternship
DurationMultitermLong term
Work routineFull timePart-time or full time
PaymentAlways paidIt May be paid or unpaid
Flexibility in work cultureCommitment to work for one employer whenever neededNo limitation, you as many as internships you want to do.
Time to complete your degreeYou may need to take a semester break. Increases time to get the degreeYou need to adjust yourself in a way to complete a degree and internship. It does not increase the time to get the degree

What is  Co-op?

A co-op which is also known as cooperative education is a type of experimental education that brings together classroom instruction with part or full-time, work in an area relevant to a student’s major. The objective of a co-op is for scholars to obtain extensive, practical job experience in which they can use the things they have learned in class in a real-world business context.

Students which take part in a co-op program often take classes for one semester and then work and use their abilities in the next semester. Some co-ops will last a single semester, while many will last many semesters or even the whole duration of a student’s degree. During their co-op, students can learn about a certain profession, gain hands-on experience, and make important contacts that they can use in their future job search.

The student collaborates with their higher education institution to locate an appropriate employment program that fulfills their school’s co-op criteria.

As a result, students enrolled in co-op could take more time to finish their studies. Many students, on the other hand, conclude that the real-world experience, skill development chances, and networking possibilities that a co-op program compensates for the extra time it takes to finish the degree.

What is Internship?

An internship is a type of on-the-job training that allows a student to try out a job while still studying. Internships are very popular among undergraduate and graduate students because they frequently allow them to start building the industry-oriented skills and abilities that they need.

Although few internships are compensated, the majority are not. Internships are typically undertaken by students to know the work culture and maybe receive credits in their degree. Universities generally have stringent regulations concerning the types of work that students can do.

Internships can last anywhere from four months to six weeks or even more. It can take place during the academic year, and also in the summer and winter months. If the internship occurs within the academic year. it is crucial to remember that the time spent in completing the Internship does not substitute for classes. Instead, the internship must be flexible to allow the student to complete their academic requirements.

Students can explore a specific field, acquire hands-on experience, and build key contacts during their internship time, which they might utilize in the job hunt. Internships are frequently viewed as a good method to beef up your resume just before graduation or, in certain cases, before starting a co-op.

Main Differences Between Co-op and Internship

  1. Internships are generally part-time and last for a shorter time than co-ops, which are frequently full-time and need many semesters.
  2. During a work term, students in a co-op are generally paid full-time pay. Internships might be paid or unpaid, depending on the program and company.
  3. Co-op programs sometimes ask students to commit to numerous work terms with the same business. Internships provide you greater freedom.
  4. You can only undertake one co-op at a time, but you can apply for as many internships as you like.
  5. Because you are taking a semester break to work, working in a co-op program may cause your academic degree to take longer to complete. Internships typically do not lengthen the time taken to finish a degree.


An internship or co-op may be a fantastic method to obtain work experience for students who are seeking to stand out in a competitive employment market. These programs provide possibilities for on-the-job training in your chosen sector at a business. They also assist students who are undecided about their professional choice in learning more about what life might be like in that job on a day-to-day basis.

When considering whether or not to pursue these programs, many students ask themselves, “What is the difference between a co-op and an internship?” While both programs can help you develop your career, the differences between an internship and a co-op might be significant. It’s essential to grasp the distinctions between these alternatives while weighing your options so you can make the best selection for your situation.


  1. https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/94141
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42330-019-00074-6
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