For those of you that weren’t as lucky as me to have a placement as part of your course, I would highly suggest that you take a placement year if possible.
Many graduate jobs require someone with previous experience which is where placement comes in. Lectures alone does not teach you all you need to know about your chosen career. It gives you knowledge but having a placement gives you experience and skills which can put you in a better place. You can never really understand what it takes to do a job until you have worked practically within that role.
Many employers are looking for people with not only the necessary academic knowledge but also the practical experience. Why pay money to train someone when you can hire someone that already has the experience? Work placements also look great on your CV and will make you more likely to be hired for certain positions.
In every job you need communication skills as well as teamwork and interpersonal skills. A work placement allows you to be around others constantly and you will most likely have to work with your colleagues as well as individually so if you’re a shy person like me, placement will definitely help with that as you’re around the same people consistently.
Placement also helps you gain knowledge from others, as University isn’t able to teach you everything you will need to know. People who work in your chosen career will be able to give you inside knowledge on what the job entails as well as any updates in the sector that you may not be aware of.
Personally, I feel that placement was a great thing for me. I am now a graduate looking for a job and in my field you need to have a qualification along with the experience than placement has given me. It was hard work but I don’t regret doing it for a second as I received a lot of information from colleagues that I hadn’t got from lectures.
I hope this information was helpful to anyone stuck in deciding whether to take a placement year or not!