It is obviously undeniable that earning an undergraduate degree is a big accomplishment in your academic journey, however, with many employers increasingly looking for candidates with academic achievements as well as work experience, millions of students choose to continue even further by pursuing postgraduate degrees and work placements are becoming more and more important.
The main reason is your career prospects will grow with a postgraduate degree. In its article, “How the Master’s Degree Became the New Bachelor’s In the Hiring World,” Fast Company reveals, “Nearly a third (32 percent) of employers are bumping up education requirements for new hires. According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, 27 percent are recruiting those who hold master’s degrees for positions that used to only require four-year degrees”. Not only that, but postgraduate degrees also give you an opportunity to make a career change as these degrees don’t just open up job possibilities in your area of undergraduate study. Whether you’re discovering an alternate interest after working in your chosen field or are looking for a course of study that complements your studies to date, a postgraduate degree opens doors to exciting new possibilities.
Moreover, securing a placement will give students real-life work experience and career-oriented professional skills which will enhance their commercial awareness, boost their confidence and get them better prepared for the recruitment market.
Noticing this gap between the needs of employers and students, a lot of universities are now offering an optional two year postgraduate programme with an integrated work placement component within the programme. The placement will be undertaken after the taught portion of the programme.
As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, if you are an international student, you will be issued a two year visa to cover both the taught and the work placement components upon meeting the Home Office’s requirements (including the 5-year time limit on Tier 4 study – see the UKCISA website). You also should request the two-year ‘with professional placement’ course option before your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)* is issued (so the 12-month placement will be included in the CAS).
If you decide not to pursue the placement option or do not manage to secure a placement by the deadline, you will be switched back to the usual one year course and complete your degree in the standard 12 months (this will not affect your grade). If you are an international student, then UK Visa and Immigration will be alerted about the course change.