Students at the School of Computer Science may apply to take an industrial placement year as an integral part of their degree. The industrial placement year usually takes place between the end of the second year and the beginning of the final year.
Benefits of an industrial placement year
After completing a year of work experience in London working for an e-Commerce company I could not imagine having done anything else. I have had an invaluable opportunity to accelerate my learning and experience working life; I know what awaits me when I graduate, and my ideas about my goals and ambitions in life have really developed. I have had a chance to make use of everything I learned during my first two years, and it has really helped to cement all that knowledge. I feel incredibly motivated for my return to complete my final year, and I am really looking forward to getting stuck into studying again. I would recommend a year in industry to anyone and everyone, no matter what course you do! It could really help to decide where you want to be when you finish University and even help you improve your overall grade.
Olivia Graham BSc Computer Science
Students who have taken a year out almost inevitably find themselves much more employable, as many companies value prior industrial experience highly (sometimes even higher than the final degree class obtained). Industrial placements can often lead directly to the first employment. Former placement students quite often also find that they get appointed at a higher point on the salary scale.
Maturity and motivation
Academically, there seem to be advantages too, as returning students are much more mature, able to put what they are studying into a wider perspective, thus increasing their motivation, and maybe also realise just how important it is to work hard. It is a highly competitive world out there!
Links with industry
The placement year is also one way in which the School of Computer Science seeks to build strong relations with the industry. Such relations are important for many reasons. For example, they give very valuable feedback on our degree programmes, ensuring that what is taught is up-to-date and stay relevant in today's world of fast-paced changes, and they also gives us a chance to demonstrate to employers just how good our graduates are!
HEU students who are interested in taking this option need to begin to act early in the second year, as many of the larger firms and government organisations have application dates well before Christmas. It is up to each student to secure a placement that fits his or her specific interests and needs. However, the programme coordinator does advertise and maintain a list of openings that has come to his or her attention, and there are also resources provided centrally by Careers and Employability Service.