Just Josh
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Hi there,

I have recently started my first year of the computer science degree at uni and as part of my course i have opted for a placement year.

However, i was wondering if the placement year is actually worth me doing for several reasons.

Firstly, is it worth taking 15-18K for a year when you could be graduating a year earlier and earning 25K or more instead.

Secondly, i hear that computer science bsc students from solid universities are in demand anyway, and surely i would have a good chance of getting a decent grad job whether i take the placement year or not.

Thirdly, if i do a summer internship instead, surely i could get work experience and graduate a year earlier.

I'm not sure what i want to do as a career yet really.

But everyone keeps saying that it's worth it in the long run. So i guess i wanted to ask people on TSR, especially computer scientists, why they did or didn't do a placement year, and if so, where they did it and how it helped them and if not, if they have managed to get where they wanted to be anyway, or in heinsight if they wish they had or hadn't done one.

Thanks!
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mailmerge
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(Original post by Just Josh)
Firstly, is it worth taking 15-18K for a year when you could be graduating a year earlier and earning 25K or more instead.
I really don't think this sort of thinking is healthy. It's easy to just think of life as money/numbers, but that's not the only thing that matters. I think the time on a year out will probably be a lot more enjoyable than one taken from 'the rest of your life', and in the grand scheme of things, that 10k probably won't mean much.

(Original post by Just Josh)
I'm not sure what i want to do as a career yet really.
If you're not sure about what you want to do, that's even better reason to take a year out and see what the industry is really like (you might miss this on shorter placements). I don't see why graduating earlier would be a good thing in your situation.

(Original post by Just Josh)
Secondly, i hear that computer science bsc students from solid universities are in demand anyway, and surely i would have a good chance of getting a decent grad job whether i take the placement year or not.

Thirdly, if i do a summer internship instead, surely i could get work experience and graduate a year earlier.
People generally come back much better programmers, bounds more employable, and with a better work ethics. These are definitely things that you would pick up on a summer internship, but I don't know if they're as common or if as many big-name companies offer technical placements for such a short time (ie summer internship is much more competitive than placement year). You might not realise how unemployable you are at the moment, but someone who has worked for a year will have a much easier time getting any job.
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Just Josh
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(Original post by mailmerge)
I really don't think this sort of thinking is healthy. It's easy to just think of life as money/numbers, but that's not the only thing that matters. I think the time on a year out will probably be a lot more enjoyable than one taken from 'the rest of your life', and in the grand scheme of things, that 10k probably won't mean much.



If you're not sure about what you want to do, that's even better reason to take a year out and see what the industry is really like (you might miss this on shorter placements). I don't see why graduating earlier would be a good thing in your situation.



People generally come back much better programmers, bounds more employable, and with a better work ethics. These are definitely things that you would pick up on a summer internship, but I don't know if they're as common or if as many big-name companies offer technical placements for such a short time (ie summer internship is much more competitive than placement year). You might not realise how unemployable you are at the moment, but someone who has worked for a year will have a much easier time getting any job.
Lots of good stuff there for me to consider, thanks for the helpful advice!
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panda192
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I would say yes they are worth it. You gain valuable experience that makes you alot more attractive to future employers. CS students who don't do placement years or work experience often end up in the unemployment loop of needing a job to get experience but can't get a job due to no experience...
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Pugzii
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Programmers are in demand at the moment
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Kenny101
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(Original post by Pugzii)
Programmers are in demand at the moment, not general computer scientists, thats the problem with some computer science degrees, they dont teach you to program well enough.. and that's why there is a shortage (from what I have been told by employers)

anyway - I feel personally placements are brilliant, even better if you manage to get it with a top company. I'm doing a Computer Games Programming degree, but I applied too IBM, Microsoft, Accenture, Intel.

I got an offer from one off them too and I am now there on placement

Working 12 months for a very good IT company proves a lot of things, and can be a doorway into a graduate job with them when you graduate too.

You'll be surprised how many CompSci graduates are not in employment after graduation, or aren't in a technology job as they wanted - this can be due to 0 experience, which is what you'll have
Did you have any relevant experience prior to your placement? I want to apply for some summer interships, however I have literally no relevant work experience. I've had a few jobs but nothing to do with software developing etc.
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Pugzii
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(Original post by Kenny101)
Did you have any relevant experience prior to your placement? I want to apply for some summer interships, however I have literally no relevant work experience. I've had a few jobs but nothing to do with software developing etc.
Nope
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Kenny101
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(Original post by Pugzii)
Nope, never had a job in my life let alone relevant work. That's why placements are good - because the employer doesn't expect any experience, where as when you graduate - its the opposite. The percentage of people with experience applying for placements is much much lower than the percentage that apply for graduate jobs, so without any experience at graduate level you'll be up against people who have..
But I'm in the process of applying now and they all ask for relevant work experience and it feels like a big waste leaving it empty... is this normal or do alot of applicants usually have relevant experience?
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ifstatement
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A placement is just the icing sugar to the cake really. You can always go and do a placement year/internships after you graduate.
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Pugzii
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(Original post by Kenny101)
But I'm in the process of applying now and they all ask for relevant work experience and it feels like a big waste leaving it empty... is this normal or do alot of applicants usually have relevant experience?
I just left mine empty :P Dont worry too much, its just a HR requirement to have it there, the people who actually review your application understand that your a student and probably wont have experiance.

No, all my friends who are on placement never had experience before hand! As I said before, it's unlikely for placement students to have relevant experience, but some MAY have it, thats why the box is there - And its probably just copy - pasted from their real job application page haha.

(Original post by ifstatement)
A placement is just the icing sugar to the cake really. You can always go and do a placement year/internships after you graduate.
Right, but how do you plan on funding your placement/internship after University? Placements/Interns rolls arent paid highly. I'm being paid £14,000 for my placement and I can live fairly well because I'm living with 2 others and have council tax exemption.

I do not see you living in a decent quality flat, with some luxaries on just 12/14k and having to pay council tax - no student loan etc. You may get lucky and be able to live at home - but your already lowering the number of firms you can apply too..

Whats the solution to this problem? Do a placement while your a student!! You also gain valuble experiance you can return to University with that will help bolster your final year mark
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ifstatement
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(Original post by Pugzii)
Right, but how do you plan on funding your placement/internship after University? Placements/Interns rolls arent paid highly. I'm being paid £14,000 for my placement and I can live fairly well because I'm living with 2 others and have council tax exemption.

I do not see you living in a decent quality flat, with some luxaries on just 12/14k and having to pay council tax - no student loan etc. You may get lucky and be able to live at home - but your already lowering the number of firms you can apply too..
What a load of bullocks... :dry:

Most internships and placements are exactly paid around the same figure, student or not. Also most internships I've seen are travel and expenses paid. So I don't get what point you're trying to put across here? You don't even have to pay any student loans back with a salary of that.

Also decent quality flat? Uh you're sharing with two other people, anyone can live in a decent flat finding the right roommates...
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Kenny101
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(Original post by Pugzii)
I just left mine empty :P Dont worry too much, its just a HR requirement to have it there, the people who actually review your application understand that your a student and probably wont have experiance.

No, all my friends who are on placement never had experience before hand! As I said before, it's unlikely for placement students to have relevant experience, but some MAY have it, thats why the box is there - And its probably just copy - pasted from their real job application page haha.
Would retail work experience count as relevant? Team work, communication etc has got to be 'relevant' to some extent
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Pugzii
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(Original post by ifstatement)
What a load of bullocks... :dry:

Most internships and placements are exactly paid around the same figure, student or not. Also most internships I've seen are travel and expenses paid. So I don't get what point you're trying to put across here? You don't even have to pay any student loans back with a salary of that.

Also decent quality flat? Uh you're sharing with two other people, anyone can live in a decent flat finding the right roommates...
Wait a second, you think placement students are paid the same as graduate jobs?
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ifstatement
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(Original post by Pugzii)
Wait a second, you think placement students are paid the same as graduate jobs?
No... -_-

My god you're slow. I was saying how taking a placement/internship when you're a student or after is going to be around the same salary no matter the situation.
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Pugzii
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true
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ifstatement
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(Original post by Pugzii)
PS: I doubt companies would hire a graduate for a placement anyway, seems very flawed.
Maybe for a mediocre university like Teesside with mickey mouse degrees such as Computer games studies then yes it can pose a problem.

Though if you're from a well known university with strong company links you can land a job/internship easily. And I suggest you research the word "flawed", hundreds of companies hire graduates for internships and placements.

But really OP, if you're graduating with a degree in Computer Science with a good mark you have a great chance of securing a job in any field since CS jobs are in quite demand at the moment.
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Pugzii
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(Original post by ifstatement)
Maybe for a mediocre university like Teesside with mickey mouse degrees such as Computer games studies then yes it can pose a problem.

Though if you're from a well known university with strong company links you can land a job/internship easily. And I suggest you research the word "flawed", hundreds of companies hire graduates for internships and placements.

But really OP, if you're graduating with a degree in Computer Science with a good mark you have a great chance of securing a job in any field since CS jobs are in quite demand at the moment.
lol
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Farid Jalil
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This is interesting I'm applying for uni this year for computer science and was wondering how you apply for a year in industry??


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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mailmerge
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(Original post by Farid Jalil)
This is interesting I'm applying for uni this year for computer science and was wondering how you apply for a year in industry??
At unis that offer it as part of the degree, you'd select the appropriate course when applying through UCAS. If you miss this, you can probably change courses once you get an offer or during the first few weeks once you arrive. It varies, but unis will generally have some partner companies who offer placements, with interviews during the second year.

Otherwise, you'd have to organise things yourself, including getting leave from your university. There are a bunch of companies that advertise specific year long industry placements and the EDT Year in Industry scheme may also help.
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hypercaine.
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Loads of companies offer them and I think theyre really useful, obviously you can do summer internships but you can be there for as little as 3 weeks, a placement year looks much better on a CV and you get a much better feel for the company/role.
Its very naive to think youll come out of uni and be on a £25k salary. An year in industry is an easy way to get experience in a large company which goes very far especially when applying for other internships and jobs when you graduate, plus they might offer you a graduate position at the end of it - no more interviews or recruitment processes.
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