Basit Khan (BSc Computer Science) Company: Shipley College
"I can surely say doing a placement year had a good effect on me overall. I felt like a different person after my placement year as I felt I could achieve anything if I put my head to it. From doing a placement year you gain so much confidence which is the key to being successful in anything you do.
The newly found confidence made me into a better student in my final year compared to previous years where I would either give up if something was too challenging or would not try in the first place. It was different in my final year as I would never give up on doing a certain task and at every chance I would try and better my first attempt.
I cannot see any disadvantages in doing a placement year."
Basit is now the Senior Technician/Helpdesk Manager at Shipley College
Janis Jakabsons (BSc Intelligent Systems and Robotics) Company: PACE plc.
"I see no disadvantages at all -doing my placement was the best thing I have done since deciding to take a course at the University.
Advantages: massive amounts of experience and a pretty steep learning curve. I learnt about working in a team and you get paid a lot more than the majority of part time Jobs as a student. If you show yourself as a valuable asset you might even have guaranteed a work place after graduation*
A placement is just a great asset to put on your CV as it increases your chances in finding well paid employment after graduation."
* Janis was offered full time indefinite employment on graduation
Cristina Tabacaru (BSc Computer Science) Company: Freemans Grattan Holdings, Bradford.
"The general benefits of doing a placement would be the experience of real industry work, the fact that you can learn marketable skills that are not part of your course (In my case Google Analytics skills, SEQ skills, etc.), the experience of a professional working environment and the support offered by very experienced people. The only disadvantage Is represented by getting used to work only in those 8 hours or so, and not dedicate most of your free time to studying, as needed for the other years of your course.
I would definitely recommend doing a placement to other students, since for me it has been an eye-opening year. It was a chance that I took, considering that web development was the last area that I would have wanted to work in, but if you're an adaptable individual and you can quickly learn new skills, you should not hesitate."
Charlie Fisher (BSc Intelligent Systems and Robotics) Company: Dyson's Ltd, Malmesbury.
"You learn a lot about what to expect from a work environment which is experience you can only get from actual work. You learn different approaches to work which undoubtedly will vary from company to company. Also enjoyed living away from home, felt more responsible and respect than at University.
The only disadvantage I can think of Is that I am not sure how I am going to cope coming back to course work and exams.
I would definitely recommend a placement for anyone."
Mohammad Anees Ashraf (BSc Computer Science) Company: Hipperholme & Lightcliffe High School & Sports College.
"I would recommend a placement to students as there are a number of advantages including:
- Develop communication skills
- Gain more confidence
- Learn more about your chosen field, practice your area of study and job you might have later and you may realise you are studying in the wrong field.
- Experience working under formal/professional conditions
- Definitely increases the chance of getting full time employment after graduation
As the placement was voluntary, the disadvantages I identified are:
- The employer could take advantage of your efforts and/ or low wage
- Costs associated with travelling, food and accommodation, although I was paid expenses and fed
- May miss out on social activities"
James Harrison (Computer Systems Administration - a stream of BSc Computer Science) Company: Bradford Teaching Hospitals.
"Doing a placement allows you to gain a lot of IT knowledge and more importantly to apply this knowledge in a live environment. It also develops verbal communication skills.
The only disadvantage to me is the delay in graduation by a year and friends known In the previous two years may have left. I would also imagine that returning to University may seem slightly dull in comparison.
I would certainly recommend doing a placement to all, as the experience, in my opinion, is equal to the degree."