Internships & Co-ops

Today, more than ever before, companies and organizations are seeking college graduates who have had career-related experience while going to school. As a software engineering student, you can gain this valuable experience through an internship or co-op. What are internships and co-ops? Internships and co-ops combine classroom studies with supervised work experiences. Students are employed by industry, business, and government organizations related to their field of study to gain practical experience that will help them excel in the classroom and reach their professional goals. Positions may be located anywhere, whether it’s in Iowa, another state, or another country. What is the difference between internships and co-ops?


Part-time or full-time

Generally lasts for one semester or summer, or longer

Paid or non-paid

Credit or non-credit


Always full-time

May occur on an alternating basis (work, school, work, etc.)

Always paid

Usually not done for credit

Out of school for either fall or spring

What are the benefits of internships and co-ops? When you participate in an internship or co-op you can:

Gain specific job skills and work experience

Apply academic knowledge in practical work situations

Pretest your career choice and discover what entry-level positions are available

Establish a network of professional contacts in your field

Gain experience, potentially leading to a permanent professional position following graduation

Earn money, plus you may be able to negotiate a higher starting salary when accepting a permanent professional position

Learn valuable job search skills such as resume writing and interviewing

Develop self-confidence, time management, and communication skills

What tools does Iowa State have to help software engineers find internships or co-ops? The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and College of Engineering both provide excellent resources and assistance for job and internship seekers. Click the links below for more information on services and resources offered.

College of Engineering Career Services – info on upcoming career fairs, interview opportunities, resume writing tips, interview tips, and more

College of LAS Career Services – info on upcoming career fairs, interview opportunities, resume writing tips, interview tips, and more

CyHire – ISU database of jobs, internships, co-ops, plus it includes a Resume Builder tool

For more information on internships and co-ops, contact your academic adviser.