I wanted to share with you a question that I received in response to my last post:
The gist of my blog post was that no school is worth a $50,000-a-year price tag and that some affluent families are looking at schools lower on the academic pecking order that provide discounts. That prompted one of my readers to ask about Drexel University, which happens to have a coop program. Here is Alisa’s question:
Any comment on whether it’s worth it to go for the 5 year 3 coop program, ie Drexel, to hopefully be in a better position to get a job after college (or after the Master’s!)? This will still involve more loans than we had anticipated…
Do You Need a Coop to Get a Job?
It’s my personal opinion that you don’t gain an employment advantage if you attend a school that specializes in coops like Drexel or Northeastern University. You can obtain internships regardless of where you attend college and these can lead to jobs and networking opportunities.
When you attend coop-focused schools, it’s highly unlikely that you will graduate in four years and that will generate more costs even if you don’t pay tuition during a coop experience. Interest from student loans will continue to grow when you take longer to complete college and college tuition will continue to rise.
I know plenty of college students, including my daughter, who attends schools without coops who have gotten tremendous internships opportunities through their own initiative or through their schools.
As I’ve mentioned before, plenty of employers are eager to hire college graduates who have a liberal arts background. They want students who can think critically, collaborate and write well. Employers can teach you the technical skills you need. Way too many college grads don’t know how to write and a bunch of internships isn’t going to compensate for poor writing skills.
For those interested in this subject, here are some posts that you might find relevant:
I’m going to have more to say about expensive universities in my next post. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what people think about the coop model of higher education.