Cooperative Education Programs in Marketing

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Cooperative education programs in marketing can merge classroom work with practical experience. In this lesson, you'll learn more about cooperative education programs in marketing.

Learning On the Job

Maybe you are just starting down an academic path that interests you, with no real-world experience to supplement your classroom work. Or, maybe you are several years into your desired academic studies and want to check out your coming profession first-hand.

A cooperative education program might be a great fit. They allow you to pause your academic studies and gain hands-on experience in your anticipated career field, all while testing the waters to gauge whether this is truly the job for you. Meanwhile, you're earning a paycheck!

What Are Cooperative Education Programs?

A cooperative education program, sometimes referred to as a co-op, is a structured way of putting education together with work experience. By incorporating hands-on job experience with an educational curriculum, co-op participants can earn academic credit and pay for their work experience.

Goals and Advantages

Participating in a cooperative education program provides many benefits, alongside the primary goals of providing applicable job experience that matches a student's preferred area of study. Some of the benefits of a co-op program include:

  • Participating in in-depth work environments
  • Applying classroom work to the job site
  • Earning a salary or stipend, which can assist in tuition costs
  • Advancing more quickly in your desired career path
  • Networking with others who are working in your desired field
  • Exploring various careers inside the marketing profession
  • Strengthening your marketing skills
  • Applying real-world experience to your studies


In the marketing discipline, cooperative education students get real-world opportunities to apply strategies and principles learned in the classroom in a job setting related to their field of study.

In an internship, a student works only a few hours per week often without compensation. In a cooperative education-based placement, the student can make a significant contribution to large-scale projects or a marketing workplace as a whole.

Co-op partnerships are often build between an academic institution and a variety of community employers including, but not limited, to the marketing discipline. Co-op students can work in a job placement for three to six months or longer, and typically do so while suspending classroom work - returning to academic studies when the co-op program is completed.


The on-the-job responsibilities of a student participating in a marketing co-op program could include:

  • Creating promotional materials
  • Coordinating special events
  • Developing press releases
  • Creating presentations
  • Managing social media accounts
  • Conducting marketing research

Co-op students also have the responsibilities of performing their assigned duties to the best of their abilities and working in a responsible fashion for their supervisor and employer. Students should adhere to all company policies, maintain regular attendance and follow all applicable rules from both their academic institution as well as state and federal laws.

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