Did you know that over half of all students undertaking placements are offered a permanent job when they graduate?
To help answer some of the questions you may have, here's a list the e-Placement Scotland team has put together:
How long are the placements?
The placements are designed to be flexible and can last from three months to a year, depending on the needs of the business. They can also be part-time, full-time or day release.
What if there isn't a placement year as part of my course?
Some courses do not have built-in placements. However because a placement has so many advantages, most universities/colleges will allow you to take a break for up to one year. Taking a placement of this type really makes you stand out from the crowd!
Will I be paid
Yes, all our placements are paid. We ask all our employers to pay a minimum salary of £12k per annum, pro rata. Some employers will pay more, at their discretion, based on skills and experience - this can mean up to £20k per annum, pro rata.
What support will I get on my placement?
A good place to start is to have a look at the e-Placement Student Handbook - it details who to contact in case of problems during your placement, what you can expect from your employer when you start and what your employer will expect from you.
Am I eligible?
The main criteria you need to meet are:
- You are registered at a Scottish College or University (preferably in an IT-related subject)
- You need to be returning to University or College after your placement
More details can be found on the 'Am I eligible?' page.
What are the benefits?
With over half of students being offered a job as a result of a work placement, can you really afford not to take up this opportunity?
Here are some other reasons (in case you’re not convinced yet):
- Put your skills into practice
- Improve your career prospects
- Get a better degree result
- Benefit from early networking opportunities with a wide network of employers
What do other students say?
"Challenging, fun, interesting" are some of the words our students have used to describe their placement experience, but take a look at our testimonials to find out more...
Won't I forget everything I learned while on placement?
We find that the opposite usually happens. Rather than forgetting what you have learned, you will broaden your skills and put into practice some of the theory that you picked up at college/university.
Even if your placement work is not directly relevant, the time away from studying is really important. All the evidence shows that students perform much better when a placement is taken as a break in their studies. It can also help students lift their overall result by as much as a grade.
And don’t forget, a placement puts you into a much stronger position to take on that final year project!
Won't it be harder to get back into studying when I return?
Again, we find that the opposite usually happens. Being out on a placement helps you appreciate what your education is really all about. The break from your studies gives you time to reflect on what you have learnt and this in itself can often give you renewed enthusiasm when you return to your studies.
Wouldn't it be better to get out of university/college and start my career as soon as possible?
Ultimately, it’s your choice but what we would say is going on a placement gives you that all-important work experience, which so many employers are now looking for.
So, although we can’t predict what’s going to be happening in the job market when you do graduate, our research shows that you are more likely to be offered a job as a result of a work placement.
Isn't it better to go straight through?
"I can get onto the ladder and start earning a graduate salary sooner. A student who takes a placement will never catch up with me."
Whilst it is true that placement salaries tend to be slightly less than graduate salaries, your offer of graduate employment and the salary that goes with it is very likely to be dependent on your degree result.
A placement is likely to raise your earning potential after graduation – you will have that all important work experience. And don’t forget, e-Placement salaries range from £12-20k per annum, pro-rata, which is very competitive.
Won't I miss my friends? They are not doing placements.
You may well miss them, but it doesn't mean losing them. A lot of students still work near their friends and meet up with them in the evenings and at weekends. And, of course, you’ll make new friends on your placement. Many students go back to work for their placement company after graduating and find that they already have a whole bunch of friends there waiting for them.
I have 5 years experience. Why do I need more?
Some mature students say they already have work experience so don’t need to do a placement. This is ok if you’re returning to the same career.
However, if you have retrained you need evidence to show employers that you are fully committed to this change and capable of working in this new area. A placement gives you evidence of that commitment.
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