Why your placement is as important as your degree qualification….

You have studied hard, spent long hours in the library  and studio perfecting your dissertation and visual practice and you are confident that you have developed fabulous graduate skills….so why will your degree qualification alone  not be enough for the graduate market?

Put simply, the competition for graduate and creative graduate jobs is so high that without industry experience,  your CV /application wont stand out from the rest of the graduate crowd.

Work experience, internships, placements and live projects all help to evidence your; graduate aptitudes, abilities, professionalism and industry knowledge.  Employers now expect that you will have undertaken some form of industry experience during your degree programme.

Recent research, Creative Industries: What do employers want,  from Plymouth College of Art, asked creative employers what they look for in a CV.  And the message is clear; 93% of employers stated that they consider industry  experience as most important followed by skills (91%). And nearly half of those employers surveyed expected the experience to be; approximately 2-3 weeks long, relevant to your career ambitions and have developed new skills and knowledge of how the creative industry works.

Another reason that undertaking placement activity during your degree is so important is that it is a great way to expand your professional network. Building a professional network as an undergraduate will make you and your skills visible to employers and build professional relationships before your graduate.

Finally, employers are increasing valuing placement activity not only as a way of assessing new graduates skills and commitment but as a great way to recruit too.  This was highlighted in a  recent report by HIGH FLYERS 2012; where a third of this year’s graduate entry-level positions were expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through industrial placements, vacation work or sponsorship. Find out more by downloading the report here: http://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/GMReport12.pdf

So if you haven’t already  gained an industry placement start planning and applying to employers now. Find out more about planning your placement here: http://creativeboom.co.uk/tips/top-tips-for-work-experience-placements  or here: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/work_experience.htm


Email careers@gsa.ac.uk for the companion handout and come along to the ‘Finding and making the most of your creative placement’ seminar on Wednesday 5th December 2012 4-5pm Bourdon Lecture Theatre.

Further Resources

National council for Work experience: http://www.work-experience.org

National Minimum Wage Guidelines: https://www.gov.uk/your-right-to-minimum-wage/who-gets-the-minimum-wage

Skillset Work Experience Guidelines: http://www.creativeskillset.org/companies/your_staff/article_5541_1.asp


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