Issue 16-232: Co-op Program Participation

December, 2016

Between 1986 and 2010, the proportion of graduates from B.C.’s postsecondary institutions who participated in a co-op program rose from 4% to 10% among college graduates (those with a college certificate or diploma), and from 4% to 18% among bachelor's graduates (those who completed a bachelor's degree). A co-op program is as a form of learning that alternates periods of in-class learning with periods of paid work. Part of the boost is due to an increased number of institutions offering co-op programs.

Among the provinces, the highest co-op participation rates among college graduates were found in Manitoba (32%), Ontario (31%) and Nova Scotia (27%) in 2010. Meanwhile, Newfoundland and Labrador (19%) and British Columbia (18%) had the highest participation rates among graduates with bachelor’s degrees.

In 2010, national participation rates were 22% among college grads and 12% for those with bachelor’s degrees. Of all major fields of study, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in architecture or engineering (37%) were most likely to have participated in a co-op program, while the participation rate was lowest among graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social sciences, psychology and law (8%).

Of bachelor’s graduates who participated in a co-op program, the proportion of females rose from 42% in 1986 to 55% in 2010, largely because co-op participation rates have increased in fields of study that have a higher proportion of females.

Data Source: Statistics Canada