The Student Room Group

is it worth doing a placement year?

My dad wants me to do a placement year as it is great experience and would make my CV stand out, also it would mean I could potentially stay at home as I would like to do a placement somewhere in London (I do economics). Although I'm worried about not having friends after coming back for 3rd year and extra tuition fee costs, but the money earnt from the placement year would really help for my rent costs in year 3. I just want to know any more cons from doing a placement year as I have more pros as of now
Original post by annqbellex
My dad wants me to do a placement year as it is great experience and would make my CV stand out, also it would mean I could potentially stay at home as I would like to do a placement somewhere in London (I do economics). Although I'm worried about not having friends after coming back for 3rd year and extra tuition fee costs, but the money earnt from the placement year would really help for my rent costs in year 3. I just want to know any more cons from doing a placement year as I have more pros as of now

Hey there 😀

I am currently on a year-long student exchange in Spain, and I have several friends doing placement work this year. Since September, I have been observing their experiences closely, and so far, I have not encountered any downsides. While I am living my dream of travelling and exploring Spain, my friends are securing fantastic graduate jobs by impressing their employers with their performance. This solidifies my belief that the experience gained from a placement year is immensely valuable and can outweigh any potential drawbacks. In today's job market, having additional experience beyond completing your degree is crucial for standing out.

Regarding the concern you mentioned about social experiences, it is crucial to recognise that our own initiative plays a significant role in shaping them. By actively participating in various social events, joining societies, engaging in class discussions, and more, we have the power to create a fulfilling social environment. The university journey exposes us to individuals of different ages, backgrounds, and interests, facilitating the formation of meaningful and lasting friendships, even in the third year. Additionally, undergoing such a life-changing experience abroad can make you more confident and outgoing, making it easier to establish relationships than ever before.

I hope it was helpful 💪 Feel free to reach out if you have any questions 😉 You can also chat with me or other students directly through The Ambassador Platform.

Best of luck,

Julia
Psychology student
De Montfort University
Original post by annqbellex
My dad wants me to do a placement year as it is great experience and would make my CV stand out, also it would mean I could potentially stay at home as I would like to do a placement somewhere in London (I do economics). Although I'm worried about not having friends after coming back for 3rd year and extra tuition fee costs, but the money earnt from the placement year would really help for my rent costs in year 3. I just want to know any more cons from doing a placement year as I have more pros as of now

Hi @annqbellex!

Placement years are a great opportunity to build some work experience and develop your CV, but I know students can sometimes struggle with shifting to full-time work and then shifting back to the university lifestyle in third year (especially if they've become accustomed to living on the level of income they've been earning throughout their placement year). On the other hand, whilst extra tuition fee costs might be a con, you could offset them if you're earning a decent salary during your placement year - and you'll likely have friends/people on your course who also take placement years and return to third year at the same time as you, so you're unlikely to be completely alone.

The first thing I would do in your situation is speak to your university's careers/employability service, and discuss potential placement options with them. They should also be able to give you a bit more information on how to secure a placement that best aligns with your interests/career goals.

Have you spoken to your course tutor about students who've previously done placements on your course? Or do you have any friends on your course currently applying for placements as well?

Eve (Kingston Rep).
Reply 3
I always recommend that my lot do a placement.

The workplace landscape is not great at the moment - in part because of the state of the UK, and in part because of the more broad post-COVID impacts on businesses and their operations. Graduates, even very strong graduates, are finding it more difficult to get suitable roles after leaving university. i see it all the time.

I don't have any figures to hand (anyway, I'm on holiday!) but anecdotally, those of my students who complete these sorts of placements and internships etc do tend to hit the ground running upon graduate at a higher rate than do those who chose not to complete the placements. The experience is worth its weight in gold in the current fiscal climate.
Original post by annqbellex
My dad wants me to do a placement year as it is great experience and would make my CV stand out, also it would mean I could potentially stay at home as I would like to do a placement somewhere in London (I do economics). Although I'm worried about not having friends after coming back for 3rd year and extra tuition fee costs, but the money earnt from the placement year would really help for my rent costs in year 3. I just want to know any more cons from doing a placement year as I have more pros as of now

Hi there,

Placement years are great and can help you getting a job after uni as you already have some experiences on your CV!

If you have the opportunity to do one, I would recommend it. If you could stay at home as well, this would be great as it would allow you to save some of the money that you earn and like you say help you with rent for next year!

The only con I would say is that once you get into a routine of full time working and earning money, you may struggle coming back to uni for your final year and having to go back to doing lots of assignments and potential exams. If you really like the job that you are doing on placement this can also make it tough to leave but if you have experience there, they may take you back on after you finish uni!

As for being behind your year, remember that a lot of others may do placements too so you might be back in your third year with other people that you already know, or think of it as an opportunity to make some new friends!

I hope some of this helps!

Lucy -SHU student ambassador.
Reply 5
Original post by Kingston Reps
Hi @annqbellex!
Placement years are a great opportunity to build some work experience and develop your CV, but I know students can sometimes struggle with shifting to full-time work and then shifting back to the university lifestyle in third year (especially if they've become accustomed to living on the level of income they've been earning throughout their placement year). On the other hand, whilst extra tuition fee costs might be a con, you could offset them if you're earning a decent salary during your placement year - and you'll likely have friends/people on your course who also take placement years and return to third year at the same time as you, so you're unlikely to be completely alone.
The first thing I would do in your situation is speak to your university's careers/employability service, and discuss potential placement options with them. They should also be able to give you a bit more information on how to secure a placement that best aligns with your interests/career goals.
Have you spoken to your course tutor about students who've previously done placements on your course? Or do you have any friends on your course currently applying for placements as well?
Eve (Kingston Rep).

i haven’t spoken to the career advisors yet as placement years will be talked about more in my 2nd year and I do have 1 friend who is on the fence of wanting to do a placement year, while the rest of my friends don’t want to.
Reply 6
Original post by gjd800
I always recommend that my lot do a placement.
The workplace landscape is not great at the moment - in part because of the state of the UK, and in part because of the more broad post-COVID impacts on businesses and their operations. Graduates, even very strong graduates, are finding it more difficult to get suitable roles after leaving university. i see it all the time.
I don't have any figures to hand (anyway, I'm on holiday!) but anecdotally, those of my students who complete these sorts of placements and internships etc do tend to hit the ground running upon graduate at a higher rate than do those who chose not to complete the placements. The experience is worth its weight in gold in the current fiscal climate.

yeah the job market is not looking too good right now which is why I’m now 80% wanting to do a placement year, although wouldn’t there be high competition in trying to find a placement year as well?
Original post by annqbellex
My dad wants me to do a placement year as it is great experience and would make my CV stand out, also it would mean I could potentially stay at home as I would like to do a placement somewhere in London (I do economics). Although I'm worried about not having friends after coming back for 3rd year and extra tuition fee costs, but the money earnt from the placement year would really help for my rent costs in year 3. I just want to know any more cons from doing a placement year as I have more pros as of now

Hello!

I understand your conflict as both my parents did a placement year in their undergrad and is actually where they met! I personally have decided not to do a placement year as I am in a similar position to you as the majority of my friends are not doing one and I decided I wanted to stick with the friends I had made and not risk having a start again when I came back. I have decided instead to do a Masters degree as I feel this would help me more in the future and look better on my CV. I am doing Earth and Environmental Science degree and I have noticed when looking at graduate schemes many are looking for further education than just an undergraduate degree, hence why I have chosen to do a masters. I also feel this will allow me to further explore a topic I am interested in: renewable energy. I also wouldn't feel pressured to do a placement if you personally are not passionate about doing it as you are less likely to enjoy your time in your year on placement and feel you have left your friends that aren't doing a placement. Ultimately, I would write a pros and cons list and decide what you personally want to do but there is no wrong answer!

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask if you have any more questions,
Lucy (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Original post by annqbellex
My dad wants me to do a placement year as it is great experience and would make my CV stand out, also it would mean I could potentially stay at home as I would like to do a placement somewhere in London (I do economics). Although I'm worried about not having friends after coming back for 3rd year and extra tuition fee costs, but the money earnt from the placement year would really help for my rent costs in year 3. I just want to know any more cons from doing a placement year as I have more pros as of now

Hi there,

I totally understand your concerns - it can be challenging returning to university after a placement year. However, there will always be some people in the same situation and it's an opportunity to meet new people. One of the advantages of a placement year is the experience, but it also demonstrates an ability to tackle these challenges. My advice would be to just take the first step of applying and see how it goes.

All the best,
Jaz - Cardiff student rep
Reply 9
Original post by annqbellex
yeah the job market is not looking too good right now which is why I’m now 80% wanting to do a placement year, although wouldn’t there be high competition in trying to find a placement year as well?

There would, but the odds are better because companies do not need to commit long-term, and they can pay you less than they'd pay a full-time employee, not need to worry about pensions etc.
I just came back from a placement and actually made some of my closest friends when coming back! It’s surprisingly a great way to connect with people who have also done it since it’s not as common as most people think. I would say go for it for the experience because like everyone else says, it’s been so tough trying to get a graduate job. Honestly, I think it only gives a bit of an edge but some edge is better than none at all. Making money is nice and it’s a good way to introduce yourself to corporate for just a year. It’s also helpful to try out a career you’re unsure about so that you can be more certain about what you want to do after graduation. It’s definitely getting tougher to get one also so being blunt, you might not even get one if you want to, especially the big companies, so it’s worth a try. If you get it great, if you don’t you just move on to final year.

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