Why Should You Take A Placement Year

female sat at table working on laptop, applying for her placement year
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

For those of you in your second year of university, it is probably the time of year to start thinking about whether or not you wish to take a year out from your studies for either work experience or to study somewhere different for the year.


Taking a whole year away from studying can seem like an odd thing to do while you're in the middle of your stride with studying but I'm here today to give you a few ideas to contemplate


WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A PLACEMENT YEAR


Looks Good On A CV

Number one is going to the obvious reason many of us take the placement year if our uni and degree offer it, and that is that it looks good to employers. For the most part, you might not have any work experience in the field you want to go into so having an internship in that field or even something similar will help boost your CV when applying to jobs after you graduate. Even going on a study abroad programs look good since it shows that you can put yourself out there and take on new challenges.

The Money

Not going to lie but the fact I've taken one semester for work placement is so I can earn some money for when I go on the study abroad programme in semester B. Having an income even just for the year I bet will entice many people into taking up industry-based work for a year between their studies.

Take A Break From Studying

Some people take gap years, some take placement years, some take both. Though a work placement year and a gap year are very different in some aspects the fact you are not studying for the year will fit some people well. Some times you might just need a break to find your motivation for university again.

Start Exploring The World

This is more for the study abroad aspect of a placement year, but I like how it's an easier step for those who want to travel and see the world. I'm saying this from a perspective where I've not yet gone on my exchange programme but it is what I hope to do. Tick at least one place off my bucket list while also studying at the same time.

Work Experience

It is that much of an important point that it gets two mentions. But in all seriousness, having that experience, other than the weekend jobs you might have had in school and college, will be your best friend in the future. For any job they'll want you to have experience and this is one way of getting that in before you even graduate.

Graduate Schemes

Now I don't know if you knew but many companies also have graduate schemes open as well as the placement year positions, which are there as kind of introductory places for those straight out of university. And, though it might not be all the time, by working at the company you wish to work at in the future as a placement student can possibly lead to a given graduate scheme place before you've even completed your final year. One of my friends actually experienced this a couple years ago, so it is possible.

Funding For Final Year

Kind of leading on from the last point, and I'm not 100% on this one so don't hold it against me. But I'm sure someone has mentioned before how a company that you went on placement with who wish to hire you after you graduate can sponsor your final year. You might want to ask your careers advisors about this one though because as I said I'm not sure of the in's and outs of this point.

Feel Out The Work World

Before this placement, the only other work experience I had was two weeks I did back in year 10, so in reality, I had never really had a job before. All I had done was study. So I never really knew how to navigate the work world since, for me at least, while in education there always seems to be a wall between you and those with more years on you. I know that's all in my head but that is why a work placement is good. I can get a feel of what it's like working 9 to 5 five days a week whilst knowing there is a deadline in sight. Even more of a positive since I'm not sure how much I like these work hours and working in an office but that's a post for another day. The world of work can be scary for those of us who have never tried it out before, so a placement year is a great way to dip your toes into it.

And again WORK EXPERIENCE!!!


Seriously taking a placement year has its benefits. Obviously, it won't be for everyone, and you might not even be able to find a placement. But honestly, you have until the end of August of your second year to find a placement so that is loads of time.

If you asked me if you should take a placement year as a yes or no answer, I would definitely say yes providing your university offers it.

Have you taken a placement year, or want to take one? Are you working for it or on study abroad?

- Sophie

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