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When starting University, a lot of us can’t make the decision regarding whether we should do a placement year or not. The idea of halting your degree after second year to get real work experience can be exciting as well as daunting. But by the time you are doing your second year, you must decide and it’s never easy. So here are a few factors you can consider before deciding whether you want to do a placement year or not.

Placement year means real work experience

Doing a placement year is quite different from voluntary work or even paid internships. You get a taste of working in a real company as an official employee. You must take responsibility for your work and learn as much as you can from your colleagues and seniors. You will be working in a co-operate environment, so professionalism is a necessity, not an option. You will have to be a responsible adult. So, this can be a valuable experience. Nowadays, all employers want their potential employees to have work experience. In this way, you can show them the skills you have practically learnt while working

You will have a chance to understand your passion

A lot of students realise what they like and dislike about working in a certain field after doing a placement year. Theoretically you may like a field like HR, marketing or finance, but practically working in one can be quite different. Doing a placement year lets you try out working in a certain department. If you enjoy it, you can stick to that field. But if you realise you don’t like something, you can always change your career path once you graduate. In this way, you don’t waste time after graduation.

You are likely to get a graduate job

A lot of students get a full-time job with their placement company if they can perform well and can impress the employers. When that happens, the company makes an offer that you can join them after finishing your degree. This can be a major stress buster for students. You can go into Year 3 stress free, knowing you will have a job at the end of your graduation. This also saves you from hours of job hunting while you do your third-year dissertation, and gives you the chance to fully concentrate on your studies.

An extra year

You must be prepared to invest an extra year in your undergraduate degree if you want to do a placement year. Many students want to finish off quickly and skip the placement year. Extra year means extra time; though you will be paid for the whole placement year. Therefore, some see this opportunity as a means of earning money for their third year. However, other students feel they cannot afford this time and decide to withdraw from it.

So, take a decision after considering all the factors carefully. A placement year is great, but you must be prepared to fully commit to this professional experience to make the most out of it.

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