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Jobs success with placement year Says Experis & CWJobs

Jobs success with placement year Says Experis & CWJobs

Placement year better prepares IT graduates for work

Chances of securing a job increased with placement year

In a competitive environment, IT professionals are taking responsibility for their own learning

University placement years better prepare graduates for the world of work according to Tomorrow’s Talent, a survey conducted by the professional resourcing company Experis in partnership with CWJobs.

The survey of 319 IT professionals looked into the challenges facing graduates in finding employment in the IT sector. It asked respondents about their degrees, skills and professions in order to identify and help tackle the challenges facing the IT industry in securing IT talent.

The research reveals that of those who did a placement year (22%[1] of total respondents), 81%[2] felt it had prepared them for their IT career. This compares to only 41%[3] of graduates, who had not taken a placement year, either somewhat or strongly agreeing that their degree prepared them for their IT roles.

Commenting on the findings of Tomorrow’s Talent, Experis Managing Director UK & Ireland, Geoff Smith, commented:  “We used to talk about the importance of a gap year abroad for a person’s development, but employers now also want work experience. A sandwich course equips students with the relevant skills and experience for the world of work and employers are reassured that these candidates can more easily make the transition from university life to working life. Now, we’re seeing the attractiveness and importance of sandwich courses within the IT sector. It’s therefore surprising that out of 2048 computing courses offered in the UK, only 470[4] offer a placement year.”

The survey shows that a placement year improved the prospects of securing a job. 91% of those graduates that completed a placement year were employed at the time of survey. As for those graduates without a placement year, 79% were employed, suggesting that a placement year increases job prospects. Richard Nott, Website Director for CWJobs added: "Going forward this is set to be an increasing factor when students select courses. With the rising cost of a university education, a return on investment is an important determinant."

The survey further explored this relationship between skills, university education and the workplace. With so many IT professionals feeling unprepared for working life, they are taking it upon themselves to learn new skills. More than a third[5] of respondents stated that their employers did nothing to help them make up any shortfall in the skills needed to perform their role. Of those questioned in the survey, 77% had to supplement their skills beyond university or employer training with independent learning. Of these, two thirds paid for extra learning with their own money.

“The IT sector is fast and furious. Universities are understandably unable to fully equip individuals for the workplace and these individuals need to stand out from the crowd. We see a lot of non-IT graduates make successful careers in the IT industry, simply due to their attitude to learn. Self-teaching and enrolling for extra courses is growing, in fact almost necessary, for this sector,” Smith added. “We’re living in an increasingly interconnected and competitive world – IT professionals must accept responsibility for keeping their skills up-to-date”

[1]70 respondents completed a placement year 247 completed a degree without a placement. Two graduates failed to respond to these questions.

[2]45% felt they were somewhat prepared 36%felt very well prepared.

[3]26% somewhat agreed that their degree prepared them for their role 15% strongly agreed.

[4]Figures from UCAS website

[5]35% of respondents stated their employer did nothing. 49% of respondents received on-the-job training – this was the most popular method of learning. The next popular was internal training with 40%.


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