One of the biggest problems, when students graduate from university, is that, although academically qualified, they lack experience in the workplace. University courses that include a year in the industry are a brilliant solution to this problem. The University of Bath and the University of York offer placement years for many of their courses, alongside other UK universities. When making your university choice, it is certainly worth considering a degree with a work placement.

Usually completed between the second and final year of a degree course, the student works in a relevant industry for up to a year. This placement year (or ‘sandwich year’) can be a valuable insight into the world of work and a way to use your new-found degree knowledge in a practical way.

Benefits of a placement year

• Relevant and recent work experience on your CV will give you the edge over other graduate job applicants.

• Many placements come with a bursary that can cover your costs for the duration of your year in industry. This can be a welcome financial injection for most students.

• If you do well in your placement, your supervisor may agree to write you a job reference.

• You will have the chance to network with interesting people in your industry of choice. This may be useful in the future after graduation when you are job hunting.

• You may be able to attend training courses, alongside your new colleagues, giving you even more experience in the world of work.

• A placement year might give you insight into an industry that you don’t want to work in upon graduation. Not enjoying your placement can also be beneficial, as it may motivate you to go on a completely different path.

When searching for a UK university which offers a placement year, it is worth seeing whether the university organises the placement, or whether you are expected to find the placement yourself. Some of the top companies in the UK offer placements to university students and may even look to hire them after graduation. Talk to one of AHZ Associates’ representatives today to discuss your options.

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