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Earnings and employment outcomes for male and female postsecondary graduates of coop and noncoop programmes

New postsecondary graduates seeking entry into the Canadian workforce may experience more favourable labour market outcomes if they augment their education with job-related training. Employers, looking for new ways of differentiating among equally credentialed prospects, may prefer job candidates with practical training. These new realities have led to a steady increase in the availability and popularity of cooperative education programmes in Canadian colleges and universities. Few existing studies, however, have sought to examine whether or not earnings premiums or employment advantages exist for coop graduates. This paper compares the earnings and employment outcomes of postsecondary graduates with coop credentials to those with traditional, non-coop credentials. Even once controlling for a number of factors, coop programmes provide the greatest advantage at the university level, particularly among male graduates. In terms of employment status, college males and university females experienced the greatest advantages to attending coop programmes.