Benefits and Drawbacks of an Industrial Placement
Obviously there are benefits and drawbacks to industrial placements. The aim of this article is to give you an idea of what’s good about completing a placement and the challenges you may face.
If your industrial placement is away from your permanent residence you will face the exciting new prospect of relocating nearer to your place of work. Some may find this experience thrilling, although others may treat it as a chore, which is understandable. You may also feel secluded, and lonely if none of your friends are near you.
The reality is, relocation is a part of life, it should be a fulfilling experience, and besides, you will make more friends in your new job!
Finishing Later than Friends
Going on an industrial placement for a year will inevitably mean that you finish a year later than your university friends who are not taking a placement year. This should not be an issue at all. As long as you keep in touch with your friends, you will still retain good relationships, and besides, you are at university to develop your personal skills, and securing a placement will certainly make you more employable.
Paying University Fees
In order to go on an industrial placement as part of your university course, you must retain student status. This comes at a cost which is dependent on the rules and regulations of the University you attend. The fees are massively reduced, but are still enough to deter some people from opting for partaking in a placement year.
Your placement is going to be a paid opportunity, and you should be able to save the money you spend on the tuition fees relatively quickly.
You will gain valuable practical experience within the specific industry you choose to go into. This will greatly improve your job opportunities by developing your skill base, both in terms of the role you are in, and more general competencies.
The fact of the matter is, graduate jobs are difficult to obtain. If you go on a placement year and come up against a candidate who did the same degree, at the same university, both receiving a First, but they didn’t take a placement year, you are going to get the job ahead of them, it is as simple as that.
There is a direct correlation between people who completed a placement year, and people who received higher grades in their degree. This is because the skills attained throughout your placement year can be directly applied to your studies, which means that you will receive better grades.
Offer of employment
This is a point that everyone is looking for, the prospect of a graduate job offer! If you impress on your placement year, it is likely that your employer will offer you a job when you finish university. If you did not enjoy your placement as much as you thought you would, or you want a different challenge as a graduate, then the offer from your employer can always act as a safety net in case your applications as a graduate are unsuccessful. That being said, it is unlikely that you’ll struggle to get a job after a year’s experience in a relevant industry.
Lastly, who doesn’t love a bit of extra cash? Your year placement will be paid, which will give you more security going into your final year of studies. And let’s be honest, as a student, any contribution will help towards living costs!
Now that you are aware of the benefits and drawbacks of work placements, we hope that you can weigh up the options before undertaking one. Take a look at some statistics in relation to placements and job opportunities.