Pre-Placement - Why do a Placement Year?
Five reasons for doing a one year work placement
1 - Enhanced Employability
A nationally recognised benefit of taking a placement year is the creation of job opportunities post graduation. Leading corporate employers increasingly use year out placements as an extended selection/interview process for entry onto their graduate training scheme. The University of Manchester surveyed a number of organisations who employed placement students. Their research found:
- 69% of placement students were offered graduate jobs as a result of the placement year
- 80% of employers recruited placement students with the primary aim of attracting them back to permanent jobs
2 - Development of key skills
A placement provides you with the opportunity to develop your personal and professional skills within an employment context. As part of the assessment for the placement year you will be required to complete a Placement Journal. The aim of the journal is to provide you with a way of recording your skills development during the placement year. You should be able to identify and demonstrate how you are developing your skills and in particular:
- record examples of where you have used these skills.
- review your skills development.
- reflect on the skills you have learnt.
The Placement Journal is accessed via MOLE (WebCT) which is accessed through MUSE.
3 - Helps determine your career path
The placement year is a great opportunity to try out:
- a particular career
- a particular industry
- a specific company
- the experience of living in a different country!
Taking a placement year as part of your degree enables you to make more informed career choices.
4 - Improvements in academic study
The placement year gives you the opportunity to put academic theory into practice and apply the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed during the earlier stages of your degree programme. Students who spend a year working as part of their degree return to the university more focused, refreshed and enthusiastic. Whilst on placement there may be opportunities to carry out research for your final year project/ dissertation or possibly develop ideas to be studied further on completion of your undergraduate studies.
5 - Improved Finances
The majority of placements are paid and the salary you will receive whilst on placement is usually related to the graduate starting salary for the particular industry you are working in.
- Salaries range from £12,000 up to £20,000, the average for a typical placement is between £14,000 – 16,000 per year.
- You will remain a registered student with the university whilst you are on placement, therefore you are exempt from paying council tax and still eligible for other student discounts.
- You are entitled to apply for a student loan although you may not receive the full entitlement for the year.
- Some companies will offer sponsorship for your final year of study.