In today’s world, university is about more than just earning a degree. It’s also about getting yourself prepared for the big world of employment awaiting you after graduation.
But how are you supposed to do that while juggling exams, essays, presentations, group projects, a part-time job, socializing and everything else that a student does?
One innovative solution is work integrated learning (WIL). Work integrated learning is a learning development program that’s specifically integrated into your degree curriculum and which counts towards your final qualification.
It’s gaining momentum in the world of higher education as universities collaborate and liaise with businesses to set up bespoke job roles specifically for students which enable them to gain invaluable workplace experience and apply what they’ve learnt in their studies to the job.
These are some benefits of work integrated learning,
The opportunity to work in a genuine business setting
Getting out of the lecture hall and into a genuine workplace environment is no doubt a refreshing change for a start.
Work integrated learning ultimately exposes you to a diverse learning experience that can’t be formulated in the classroom alone, and therefore has a genuine positive impact on students. By strengthening the overall experience, work integrated learning enables students to understand how they can apply what they’ve learnt in their degree into a practical setting.
Develop your sense and awareness of workplace culture
You may have a good idea of what the workplace is like thanks to your part-time job as a waiter/waitress at your local café or restaurant, or as a retail assistant in a clothes store. But to have the opportunity to get really stuck in in a job, in an industry where you aspire to work after graduating, is something else.
Having work experience while studying helps you to understand the concepts you learn in the classroom and see them being applied in real scenarios.
Another advantage is that it will help you to understand why the teamwork that you practice every day in class is important as it is relatable to the way organizations work.
Enhance your soft skills and advance your theoretical knowledge
Working to learn is learning to work. Work integrated learning will allow you to gain a good grasp of basic work capabilities and a plethora of both soft and technical skills that you wouldn’t necessarily develop without working in a professional setting.
It can help you manage your future career aspirations and decisions
One huge benefit of work integrated learning is it can help you decide what future career path you may (or may not) want to pursue after you graduate.
Work integrated learning allows you to gain a real sense of appreciation of your area of work, as well as have the opportunity to explore new and exciting roles that you may not have once considered.
It can boost your employment prospects
Students who undertake work integrated learning are considered to be more desirables hires, thanks to their prior experience and connection with the industry.
You’ll be able to build a flourishing network of contacts
Establishing industry network connections is an essential part of work. From colleagues to clients, you’ll meet a wide range of individuals from all walks of life, and so being able to diversify your social circle will benefit you in more ways than you may initially realize.
Increase your awareness of global challenges and industry issues
There’s no better way to learn about the world of work and industry than by jumping right into it.
It would be easier for you to see the theory applied in the real world and I would be able not only to complete and understand your activities but also to contribute with real situations.
Broaden your perspectives
An invaluable benefit of work integrated learning is you’ll inevitably meet and work with a diverse set of people who all bring their own wealth of knowledge, experience and skills to the workplace. As you liaise and collaborate with your colleagues, you’ll find yourself open to discussion and learn to think differently about particular issues.
You can make a positive impact and offer solutions to real-life problems
Students are able to bring solutions to real problems within the business they are working in, so it’s not just the student who benefits.