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Why do a Placement?

It takes three or four years to get a degree. At the end of their second years, some computing students decide to extend this by another year by spending some time on an industrial placement. This used to be quite unusual, now it’s very much the normal thing to do. We think it’s great, and we present (in no particular order) our top 10 reasons for doing a placement.programmer

 

  • You earn real money. Being a student is expensive and, while you won’t be the highest paid in your placement company, you’ll certainly earn enough to pay off some bills.
  • You do real work. At University you work on assignments for lecturers; on your placement you’ll be working on systems that solve real problems for real people. You won’t get marks or grades, but you will see software that you’ve written being used “for real”.
  • You can dip a toe in the water. While you’re at University you might not be sure which area of computing will suit you best as a career, or you might not wven be certain whether you want to work in computing at all. A good placement will help focus your ideas, and should let you work in a range of projects in a range of different roles.
  • You make contacts. Heard of LinkedIn? While on your placement you’ll meet people who could be useful contacts when you return to University, and maybe throughout the rest of your career.
  • You get up-to-date skills. Whisper it, but the content of most University courses lags a little behind what people are using in commercial applications. This is fine (courses need to be validated for one thing), but you should take the chance to learn about the current state of the art. You also get to work with new people – so you get social skills as well as technical skills.
  • Good companies, such as Elder Studios, may provide you with free pizza on Tuesdays.
  • As you work, your placement employer will probably be considering whether you would make a good longer term employee. You should also be thinking about whether you want to be that employee. A placement could well be the start of a career.
  • A placement can provide you with loads of great ideas for your final year dissertation or project.
  • Did we mention the pizza on Tuesdays?
  • Whether or not you want to return to your placement company once you finish your course, a placement always looks good on the CV, and can give you the edge over others.

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