I’m pleased to say that after lots of hard work we now offer all of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Computing with an optional Placement. We have been running the optional Placement in our undergraduate courses very a long time, and it is well establish. After my last visit to India I noticed more and more students though asking if we offered the same opportunity to gain work experience on the post-graduate courses, so when I returned I initiated the paperwork to include the option for the Masters courses.
I’m a big fan of the Placement/Year in Industry scheme for students. There are lots of good reasons for this:
- it allows the student to confirm that this actually is something that they could do for the next 50-odd working years of their life
- it gives them a boost to their confidence and proves to themselves and others that, yes, they can do this – they can put what they have learnt into practice
- it looks really good on their CV and makes them stand out from other graduates
- it sets them up to be more successful in their final year, as they are more mature in their studies and general approach to life – typically students who have taken the Placement year graduate with a degree clarification higher than those who haven’t.
- allows the student to earn a wage for a year, and possibly save some money so that they don’t have to work in their final year
- it can possibly lead to offer of employment after graduation as the company have essentially given them a year-long interview
- there are many networking opportunities available, so contacts can be create for when they graduate
It seems that traditionally, going on a gap year was a good way to add value to your CV, and something that employers considered. However, this now seems to be superseded by the industrial year. Employers are not looking for a variety of skills and abilities in graduates; most of which you can learn at university, but will only be consolidated when you put them into practice. I’ve visited many students whilst they’ve been working on their year out in industry, and have been constantly amazed and pleased at how well they are doing, and how much they have progressed since the last time I saw them. One of the bigger changes I often see is the development of their professional attitude, especially in the way they communicate, and how well they work and develop within their teams.
So if you are a student and you are deliberating whether to go on Placement or not, I suggest you go for it!