Stepping into industry reality : reviewing the roles of cooperative education and internships in fostering construction education

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 8
  • Abstract:

    Abstract: The foremost aim of construction education is to equip students adequately to function effectively in the construction industry after graduation. Considering the present-day challenges and complexities of the industry, there is an increased need for graduates who do not only possess a sound academic background, but also the necessary work experience. Transition from classroom into full-time industry activities is never an easy ride for students, necessitating the need for work experience to ease the shock of transition. In light of leveraging students to handle the various demands of the present day construction industry competently, this article discusses the benefits of cooperative education and internships in fostering construction education for the future. An extant review of literature was conducted from journals, articles from databases such as Taylor and Francis Online, Springer, Emerald, ASCE, Scopus, and ASC conference proceedings, amongst others. One of the primary findings emanating from the study revealed that cooperative education provides necessary work experience which helps students experience an easy transition from the academic world to the complexity of the world of work. This work experience provides a capstone experience for students which reinforces and expounds on the theories learnt in classrooms and further improves their holistic development. With the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the present day construction industry, it is essential for students to have a résumé that includes actual industry exposure which gives them an added advantage. Hence, the findings of this paper provide a foundation to increase effective HEIs pedagogical work practices to better prepare graduates ahead of taking up positions in the construction industry.