This year, U of T's Professional Experience Year Co-op Program is celebrating its 40th anniversary. It’s the largest program of its kind in Canada, and a key part of U of T's commitment to experiential learning. This optional program enables undergraduates who have completed their second or third year of study to build meaningful work experience, strengthen their professional networks and enhance their interpersonal and technical competencies. During this period, which lasts 12 to 16 consecutive months, students are full-time employees with a competitive salary.
Arman Ghassemi, BlueCat Networks
PEY Co-op Student 2016-2017, Computer Science + PEY
“My PEY experience at BlueCat has gave me the confidence and preparation I need for a role as a software engineer upon graduation. I’ve had the opportunity to work with two development teams at BlueCat which not only have I gained a new set of technical and soft skills, but also made long term connections in the tech industry. Such an invaluable experience has brought me back for another 4 month coop term.”
Clara Siu, IBI Group
PEY Co-op Student 2016-2017, Electrical Engineering + PEY
“This PEY placement has been a great opportunity for my professional development and personal growth. In school, I learn about very interesting concepts in communication systems, such as how different technologies work in sending, transmitting, and receiving information. At the internship, I get to appreciate how these concepts are applied in real-life applications, which have direct impact on improving the cities that we live in! A highlight for me is having the opportunity to learn more about the projects that I work on during meetings, as well as the opportunity to learn the supplementary concepts, standards, and practices through talking to my colleagues and managers. There are many components to every project, and it is very interesting to see how these components, including my work, all come together over time to form a whole. This internship has been highly rewarding, and has even sparked my interest in project management, which is something that I have never considered before my PEY placement.”
Husham Hassan, EventMobi
PEY Co-Op Student 2016-2017, Computer Science + PEY
“My PEY Co-Op with EventMobi has been an incredible experience. By building and helping to scale the EventMobi platform, as well as taking part in company wide coding challenges, hackathons, and workshops, I’ve developed a strong foundation as a Software Developer. The company wide retreats and team outings have also helped me build great friendships along the way. I would highly recommend the program to anyone looking to grow both professionally and as a person!”
Ben Waitzer, IBI Group
PEY Co-op Student 2016-2017, Engineering Science – Infrastructure
“Working at IBI Group was an invaluable experience. I felt welcomed and valued as a peer amidst a team of brilliant people who were exceedingly generous with their knowledge and mentorship. I got to do meaningful work on a wide variety of different transportation planning projects and learn about the many different opportunities available in my field. Most importantly, it showed me how the technical skills that are emphasized in class fit into the complicated endeavor of city-building, which is truly inspiring!”
Conrad Chan, BlueCat Networks
PEY Co-op Student 2016-2017, Computer Science + PEY
“My PEY experience so far has been great, I get to work with driven, talented individuals whom I can learn from and help further my career goals. Having a team-lead that is a U of T alumni who has undergone many similar experiences has really helped me transition into my role. Working at BlueCat has been a fantastic learning experience.”
Vibha Kumar, Intel
PEY Co-op Student 2016-2017, Electrical & Computer Engineering + PEY
“My PEY was a valuable learning experience and a good introduction to working in industry. It was a great way to get relevant work experience during my undergrad and it helped me develop skills that I am confident I will use throughout my career.”
Why Choose PEY Co-op?
It’s more than a foot in the door
You'll work full time for an employer of your choosing for 12 to 16 consecutive months after second or third year. You’ll apply your education to industry challenges while making meaningful professional contributions. Through PEY Co-op, you can focus on career development without needing to switch between work and school each semester.
PEY Co-op students earn an average of approximately $50,000 annually, with top salaries reaching $90,000 in 12 months. You'll also position yourself perfectly to negotiate a post-graduation starting salary that is 15% higher than those without the same quality of experience.
Nearly 70 per cent of third-year engineering students choose the PEY Co-op Program each year. You can pursue PEY Co-op after your second or third year of study.
It fits seamlessly into your journey
PEY Co-op has proven to be an invaluable part of the student success journey. After working for 12 to 16 months, you’ll return to school with a new perspective on your career path. You will bring an enhanced perspective back to the classroom and explore your interests having had a robust marketplace experience. The 12-16 month work term allows the employer to involve the student in higher level work which often translates into higher salaries and enhanced work opportunities post-graduation.
Top employers come to you
PEY Co-op companies represent every sector and include major global brands such as Apple, Tesla, Proctor & Gamble and IBM. Some employers only hire PEY Co-op students because it’s their best return on investment. PEY Co-op is also an excellent way for employers to preview and recruit future talent: many students return to school with a confirmed or tentative job offer.
Choose from opportunities around the world
In 2017-18, 779 PEY Co-op students had access to 418 employers and 1,500 jobs worldwide. PEY Co-op employers range from local startups to large international companies across every sector. You will apply and interview for the positions you’re most interested in, and accept the job offer that best aligns with your goals.
Graduate a step closer to being a professional engineer
You can apply 12 months of PEY Co-op experience toward acquiring your P.Eng. designation from Professional Engineers Ontario.
Gain professional confidence before starting your job
We will work with you to ensure your resume and interview prep showcase your strengths before you begin applying for PEY Co-op positions. Career counselling and professional skills development are all important parts of the process. Workshops and guidance on everything from networking to negotiating salary will serve you as you apply for PEY Co-op positions and well beyond graduation.
How does it work?
Read our Student Guide to PEY Co-op & ESIP to learn about program requirements, deadlines and more.
Paulo Salonga, AMD
Director, RTG, Alumnus 2000, Electrical Engineering + PEY
“I completed the PEY program 17 years ago as an associate engineer in the Product Engineering in ATI. At the time I had been looking for an engineering opportunity that would allow me to work on something I was passionate about, semiconductors and electronics, while opening doors for me for future opportunities. The experience was invaluable in diversifying my skillset, learning from ATI’s top engineers and architects while giving me job offer upon graduation in the Continuation Engineering group. My advice is to do what you love and love what you do and the opportunities will follow.”
Matt Colwill, IBI Group
PEY Co-op Manager, IBI Group Associate
“We are huge supporters of cooperative education, and we believe that the PEY program is a source of great opportunity. We have recently enjoyed a run of exceptional students, who have not only played meaningful roles on a number of our projects, but who have also established a legacy of bottom-up innovation. By embracing both sides of the PEY-employer relationship, we have been able to take great benefits from the efforts of our students, and, I think that they would agree, we have also added significant value to their educations. A key factor in the success of our experience with the PEY program has been that we work very hard to not put limits on the student’s ability to contribute.”
Terry Borer, Intel
Site Lead and Senior Manager, Software Engineering
- 2000 B.Eng, Engineering Science – Computer + PEY
- 2005 M.Eng, Electrical & Computer Engineering
“I first learned about the PEY program as an Engineering Science student many years ago. PEY students contribute like full-time engineers and are treated that way. We also get to “try before you buy” a number of outstanding engineers. We are very pleased that so many have returned to join us full-time after graduation.”
Benefits of Hiring PEY Co-Op Students
The Engineering Career Centre provides employers with support in connecting with our students for opportunities within your organization.
There are no fees when you register to our Career Portal, post jobs, and utilize the recruitment support available to you.
Tax credit letters
Ontario employers may be eligible for a co-operative education tax credit worth up to $3,000 in incentives. Check Canada Revenue Agency’s Co-operative Education Tax Credit for details. You can check if your company is eligible for the tax credit.
We can provide resources to support you during the recruitment period, like job posting and interview scheduling services, as well as providing on-campus interview space.
Our Program Coordinators are happy to discuss your specific recruitment strategies, and how the PEY Co-op program can support your needs.
How does it work?
Read our Employer Guide to PEY Co-op & ESIP to learn about deadlines and the program process.