Why do a work placement?
Gaining experience as an undergraduate can give you a competitive edge over other graduates in the job market, as you can ‘hit the ground running’ when it comes to knowledge and skills. Experience on placement can greatly increase your transferable skills, like: communication, teamwork, independent learning, critical thinking, numeracy, IT skills and research. These skills can be applied to any number of settings and situations, and will help you make a smooth transition into graduate employment; a great asset for potential employers. Research indicates that graduates who undertake a work placement have higher employment rates (69.1%) compared with those who did not (55.3%).
You will gain first-hand experience of applying psychological knowledge within an applied setting as well as have the opportunity of developing transferable skills. All of which can benefit your degree when you return to university to complete your final year. It gives you the opportunity to increase your confidence and initiative in a real working environment, whilst being able to watch how professional psychologists apply the theory to practice. Check what our Kent students have to say about developing their communication, teamwork, independent learning, critical thinking, numeracy, IT Skills and research skills by undertaking an applied degree.
It is a good opportunity to talk to numerous people in your chosen field, showcasing your skills and abilities, potentially highlighting to professionals how employable you are. Statistics have shown many people get jobs through referrals, so a work placement is a good chance to get yourself noticed. It also allows you to develop social skills, within the business environment, such as integrating with staff and learning to work in new contexts; another major aspect employers consider during recruitment.
Try a career first
A one year work placement allows you to ‘try out’ a job before you commit to that career path on graduation. You can benefit from a taste of the industry or area of your degree and the type of work you may encounter. This allows you to decide if you enjoy it, finding out where your strengths and weaknesses lie and gaining valuable knowledge of the world of work.
Apart from the direct work-related insights, you may also find you develop on a more personal level as well, once you’ve been subjected to the challenges and responsibilities of the professional workplace. Maturity and initiative are the most commonly reported personal developments achieved throughout a work placement, as well as improved confidence and social skills. With the aid of a personal development portfolio, these achievements can be recorded, reflected upon and used as evidence of development after graduation.
It is the proficiency in using computers, tools and software for a range of purposes, and integrating that knowledge into work. It also refers to being able to adapt to and learn new packages.
It refers to extracting relevant information from a range of sources in order to address key issues and also evaluating this information in relation to objectives.
It is taking charge of one’s own learning and thus being responsible for it. It also refers to developing autonomy and self regulating your learning.
It is the ability to use both oral and written communication effectively to convey meaning, express ideas and articulate arguments and opinions in a manner appropriate to the audience.
It is the joint effort of a group of individuals working together, to collaboratively achieve a common goal or resolve conflict. Teamwork relies upon mutual trust and the co-operation of its members to strive for results.
It is the active, skilled and logical interpretation or evaluation of information to form a structured argument.
It is the ability to analyse, interpret and present numerical, statistical and graphical data. This can be for the purposes of supporting evidence or demonstrating a point.