The college year is flying along. Think ahead and you can really boost your future career prospects by getting some work experience during the college year (if you can manage it) and by making the most of your summer break. Get some work experience to shout about on your CV!
A recent survey of the employment market by Irish recruitment company CPL revealed that
"95% of employers require students to have practical experience."
Unfortunately, a qualification won’t be enough on its own. Employers want graduates who have practical experience of their chosen field before landing their first full time job.
More Paid Internships
Fret not though. There’s comforting news from the GradIreland Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey 2015, which says that
"85.7% of employers now offer internship programmes and 93.5% of those are paid."
Over half found a challenge as there weren't enough applicants with the right skills.
Many of our college courses already have a work placement component. We focus on preparing you for the real world. Our programmes are guided and delivered by industry professionals with years of experience. Even still, you should be taking all possible opportunities to gain more work experience.
What are the benefits of practical work experience?
- It’ll be easier to get a job in future.
- Your CV and LinkedIn profile will look good and you’ll have practical examples of your work to discuss in interviews.
- It helps you decide what you really want to do after college.
- I did an arts degree and didn't have a clue what I wanted to do until I did a work placement in a publishing company’s marketing department.
- Get to learn more about your career path. You’ll be putting things learned in college into practice. Even learning more of the terminology in the area will help you.
- Networking: Make useful connections for the future. Your employer may offer you a job after college or give you a valuable reference.
- Earn some cash! (this will probably be benefit #1)
- Gain confidence in yourself. Plus you’ll learn things about yourself - what sort of work you like doing, what you need to upskill in. Are you a solitary worker or a team worker?
As you can see, employers now expect graduates who are applying for jobs to already have work experience. Pursuing an internship or a work placement during your college years will help you get your career started. It’ll give you a competitive advantage in the jobs market and even better, a sense of personal achievement.