By Imogen Lloyd on Tue 04 April 2023 in Placement Blog
Unsure whether a placement year is right for you? In this blog, we reveal the real benefits of taking a placement year and how a year in industry might be what stands between you and your career goals!
Second year rolls around and therein lies the question: is a placement year really worth it? It can be easy to overlook the benefits of a placement year and to view a year in industry as an obstacle that stands in the way of you and your graduation. However, I’m here to tell you that a placement year not only equips you with practical skills for the workplace, it also adds value to your degree that’s recognised by employers and sets you up with a greater chance for success in your future prospects.
It's easy to become contained within the comfortable university bubble but, if you haven’t yet considered the long-term benefits of taking a placement year, you might be seriously limiting your career path options. Ignoring the option to spend a year in the working world might just be what’s holding you back from achieving your ultimate employment goals.
Boosting employability prospects
Depending on your skills and experience, a CV can either be a catalyst or your Achilles’ heel when it comes to securing a graduate job. The applicant pool is a competitive place that requires you to shoulder relevant work experience as well as skills that are valued in the workplace, all atop an esteemed degree that you’ve worked tirelessly to attain. Juggling a part-time job alongside your studies while sustaining first class grades and finding time to get involved in clubs and societies just isn’t realistic for the majority of the student population. So, what better way to enhance your CV than taking a year out of university to really focus on developing your skills and applying your theoretical knowledge in a practical setting?
Spending a whole year in a full-time position can really separate you from other candidates that only have a few part-time jobs to account for, and might be your saving grace when employers whittle competition down to the last few applicants. Not only is it a great asset to your CV, having extensive industry experience will come as aid during the interview process where you’re given the opportunity to prove your knowledge.
Transitioning from university to work
The transition from university to full-time work can be a shock to the system. While university is great for gaining theoretical knowledge, hours of lectures and seminars still won’t prepare you for the working world like a full-time job will. Suddenly you realise that staying up all night to reach deadlines won’t cut it and you’re not just responsible for your own work, but the reputation of the company you represent, so taking on a year in industry allows you to adapt to these conditions under your university’s wing.
While your university will offer support along the way, your ability to fit in with the team is solely down to your own willingness, and is a great skill to include in your CV. Future employers will see your placement experience and realise that you’re capable of keeping your head above the water in an environment that differs greatly from that of university.
Not only can a placement give you the skills for future applications, it can also help with building your professional network and opening more doors to employment. LinkedIn can be a great tool for staying in touch with other professionals in your industry, making new connections, and seeing if any jobs are available. In fact, if you really make an impression on your year in industry, it’s not unlikely that you may even be offered a job post-graduation!
We spend our university years trying to figure out what we want to do with our futures, and it can be challenging to narrow it down to one industry or role. A placement year might just give you that answer. Working a full-time job gives you the opportunity to practically discover what you enjoy and what you don’t, what you’re good at and what you’re not, and where you fit in within a company or industry. You’re given full exposure to the role without the commitment of a permanent position. Interdepartmental communication is also common within most teams, so it’s likely you’ll learn what’s involved in other roles and will be given the opportunity to explore new avenues during the year.
ProspectSoft has a 56% placement retention rate year-on-year and has received outstanding reviews from former placement students who have valued their time with us. Check out the roles we have to offer and take the first step to achieving your ultimate career goals!