Internship and Co-op Experiences

Girl in business clothes writing at a desk

The importance of internships and co-op education cannot be overemphasized. Data clearly shows that co-op experiences help students achieve greater employment opportunities and faster career progress as compared to the students who have not had any such exposure prior to graduation. Actual working experience in an industrial or a professional setting prior to graduation helps accomplish the following:

  • to provide the "real" world practical experience
  • to enhance one's educational experience by gaining more appreciation of the applied knowledge
  • to enhance oral and writing, and interpersonal skills
  • to gain appreciation of the industrial workplace
  • to assess the relevance of a career in chosen discipline to the student's long-term goals

Other tangible benefits include financial gain, enhanced full-time job opportunities, and a sense of contribution by engaging in a productive activity.

Internship and co-op participation is the student's choice; nonetheless it is very strongly recommended. The student can elect to do an internship for about three months (generally in the summer) or a co-op consisting of the summer and one semester (approximately 8 months). We strongly recommend that students do a summer internship, at a minimum, prior to graduation.  It is essential that you register for ECE 320 (Professional Practice) when away on co-op/intern assignment. There is no charge for registering for ECE 320, since you register it for zero credit hours.  However, ECE 320 records your coop/internship experience on your transcript as well as retains your “enrolled status” for spring and fall. This also enables the Registrar’s Office to forward upcoming registration information to you while you are on assignment.

Twice per academic year, Miami has a Career day, where many companies visit Miami for recruiting purposes.  At these events, students are strongly encouraged to attend, with their resumes in hand, to meet company representatives and to apply to internship and co-op positions that interest them.   It is essential that students register with Miami's Career Placement Office to be eligible for interviews with companies during Career Day events.

Career Opportunities

Electrical and computer engineering graduates are prepared for a wide variety of career opportunities. Examples include jobs that involve designing, building, and testing analog or digital devices; systems for processing, communication, and storage of information; distribution, conversion, and storage of energy; and process automation or robotics. Application areas include communication systems, manufacturing, power and energy, health care, computing, security, entertainment, and many others.

As you progress toward your degree, it's a good idea to discuss your future plans with your faculty academic advisor. Your advisor can provide assistance with shaping your career goals and help set you on the right track to achieve them after graduation. Achieving your goals might mean direct entry into the workforce after graduation, or your goals might be best achieved by first pursuing graduate school in engineering or other areas such as business, law, or medicine.

In addition to the ECE faculty and staff, Miami provides excellent resources through the Office of Career Services. Visit their website to learn about the many resources available to you, including career fairs, assistance with resume preparation and interviewing skills, and a database of career opportunities.