What if I said that you could further your education, increase your employability and gain priceless experience all in the short space of 4 years?

Okay, I admit that a uni placement course may not come as a revelation to any of you reading this, yet their appeal only seems to be increasing. Students nowadays seem to be stuck with an impossible choice; commit to a degree and further your knowledge to a considerably higher level, or take the apprenticeship route, gaining the experience yet foregoing the degree which may limit your career progression as you strive for those senior positions down the line.

UCAS reported last year that university applications were down 5%, perhaps due to people valuing experience over furthering their education, but why can’t we have both?

Ask anyone at university and they’ll be able to recite a conversation, generally with those obscure family friends or cousins which starts with the classic “so what do you want to do when you’re older?” The problem is that many of us have little clue as to where we will be working as soon as we leave the safety of our lecture halls. This is where our aforementioned placements come into their own. Nothing can help us decide our future path to any better degree than actually giving one a go. Yes, you may decide that your placement ends up not being the right route for you, but you can guarantee that you will have a much better idea of where you want to end up when you leave that office for the last time. Whether you enjoyed every day of your experience or realised that your dream job was in fact just one big mistake, you will only be clearer as to where you want to end up after giving it a go.

As great as it is to get a sneak peek into the working world, undoubtedly the greatest ‘perk’ of a placement comes in the form of your increased employability. When other factors are stripped away, and a potential employer has to choose between yourself with your priceless placement experience or your counterpart with little to call upon, you may as well start practising your handshakes. Of course, in reality it isn’t the only factor that can sway a decision, but it’s undeniable that you’re going to look great before any selection procedures begin. Furthermore, imagine the confidence you can take from knowing that you’ve essentially taken a test-drive and cruised through it (preferably without any major crashes). You can never underestimate the confidence gained from experiencing that daunting working world and successfully passing through, intact and with an invaluable understanding of what it takes to succeed.

There are those of you who may argue against the content of this blog, and of course I would never declare this to be the only correct way to venture into the professional world, yet I can speak from experience and can confidently say that committing to a placement year degree was probably the best decision that I could have made for myself. Whether it increased my personal confidence in my ability to compete, adapt and perform in a working environment or even the knowledge that I can be at home outside of Uni, I can take comfort in the fact that once my final year is complete I will be able to slot into wherever my career takes me.

EarlyWMC are currently recruiting for a Graduate Marketing and Business Development Intern. If you are interested or have any questions regarding the role, send your CV, Cover Letter or any questions to andrew.latchman@earlywmc.com