Where co-op students work

co-op students talking at work in a group setting

Ever wonder where co-op students from your faculty, program or related programs have worked in the past?

The where co-op students work dashboard utilizes WaterlooWorks employment data to show the various industries and job titles that co-op students have held in the past. You can view these jobs and industries by faculty, program, and work term level.

We know that searching for jobs can be daunting. We hope this tool can help you get a sense of hiring trends and potential career paths as you navigate your own co-op journey.


Here's what you'll see in the dashboard:

  • Filters for faculty, program and work term level to help you find results that interest you.
  • Co-op employment data from the past 12 work terms (4 years).
  • Industry sectors that students have worked in (based on the North American Industry Classification System or “NAICS,” which assigns a four-digit code to each industry sector).
  • Job titles students held. The results will only include specific industries and job titles where there were three or more students to protect student anonymity. This means that not all industries and job titles will be represented in the report.
  • Please note: Location data is not included at this time due to the prevalence of remote jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Are you a prospective student looking to learn more about where students work? Check out our typical co-op jobs webpage


How do I use this tool? 

  • On the first page, filter by desired faculty, program and work term level and click “Create Report”
    • As with any search tool, remember that the more filters you apply, the narrower your results will be. If you’re in a small program, it may be helpful to start broad by selecting your faculty or a group of related programs.
    • Remember that jobs/industries aren’t always related to one specific program and vice versa. Students from other faculties and programs might have worked in jobs that align with your interests, so try searching for related programs to see what comes up.
  • On the second page with the search results, click on various industries and job titles to interact with the report.
    • Results will only show for specific industries and job titles where there was a sample size of three or more students, in an effort to protect student anonymity. This means that not all industries and job titles will be represented in the report.
    • Next to each result, you’ll see percentages that represent the share of students, from the criteria you entered, hired into each specific industry or job title.
      • Because students are hired into so many unique job titles and industries, percentages for the top jobs might not be very high as any slight variations in job titles will affect how they are grouped and reported (e.g., “Research Assistant” vs. “Research Assistant – Math”). This also means that very specific or unique job titles/industries may not show up in the report unless they appear the data at least three times.
      • To get the best sense of the industries/jobs other students have filled, be sure to browse the full list of results, or go back and choose broader search criteria to see more results.
    • You can click on the various industries and job titles to see how the data changes (e.g., if you click on one industry, the job titles will narrow to show the job titles that students had within that industry and vice versa).
  • Keep in mind that this is historical data and it doesn’t represent the only types of jobs that are applicable to students in various programs. Use it as a starting point and consider your own unique skills and interests when searching for jobs.

How can this tool help my job search?

The where co-op students work dashboard is a great way to get ideas about where co-op students from similar faculties and programs (who may have similar skills and interests) have worked in the past. Keep in mind, this is historical employment data based on other students and your job search is about you!

Here are some ways you can use the data in your own co-op job search:

  • Go beyond your faculty/program/work term level: Remember that co-op is a journey and that no two journeys look alike. Try filtering by other faculties/programs or various work term levels to see what pathways other students have taken in their co-op journey. You might end up learning something new about your own direction that you can use when searching for jobs.
  • Keywords: Write down any keywords that speak to you from the report, as well as any other industry/job title research, and use them in your next job search.
    • In WaterlooWorks, you can search by keyword by using the “Advanced Search” functionality. Searching by keywords or skills can often return wider search results than searching for one specific job title, so it’s a great way to see what jobs are out there.
  • Industries: Beyond seeing which industries show up in the report, try reviewing the Canada Job Bank Trend Analysis report or NAICS webpage to learn more about the industries that interest you and the subsectors within each. You can also do your own research to learn more about various industries. We suggest consulting resources from the Centre for Career Action as a start.
  • Job titles: Write down all the job titles that interest you and do some research to see what kinds of skills might be involved. Do they sound like you? Keep this in mind when searching for your next job.
  • Ask for help: If you need help with your co-op job search or overall career direction, remember that you can always connect with the Centre for Career Action or reach out to your co-op advisor. We’re here to help you find your path and make the most of your search.
  • There are many ways to secure a co-op job! For tips on searching for jobs in WaterlooWorks, visit our WaterlooWorks: Search webpage. You can also search for jobs outside of WaterlooWorks by arranging your own job for co-op credit.