Everyone understands that VCAL students are gearing-up for the competitive world of work so it makes sense for them to do as many work placements as possible while at school. Their resumes grow, as do their skills.
Why is the same philosophy not applied to VCE students? I believe it should, and here is why:
Many schools focus on procuring high VCE results and gear their curriculum towards this, leaving work experience programs languishing. Parents too can be guilty of placing VCE results above the need to ‘get out there and experience the real world’. Are they doing the child a disservice by ignoring the importance and value of work experience/s? Let’s consider the following scenarios.
If an employer interviewed two VCE secondary school students for a position, who do you think they would choose?
- The student with an excellent VCE result, but no work experience/s?
- The student with a lower ATAR, but various work experience/s?
- Or, both have a similar ATAR, but only one has work experience/s?
If an employer interviews two University graduates for a position, who do you think would be more attractive? (As a high ATAR is not an accurate indicator of success at University—VCE results no longer equate in the following scenario’s).
- A graduate with high university results but no work experience/s.
- A graduate with less impressive results but with proven workplace skills.
- Or, both have similar results, but only one has work experience/s.
FACT: You cannot learn work related skills, which employers value highly, in a classroom. You have to do this in the real world.
Some employers MIGHT prefer high academic results over practical experiences, and YOU can gamble on this by not participating in work experiences now, or into the future. However most employers don’t like to gamble on their business by employing people with little or no real-work experiences.
Work experience is a ’tots’ investment in your future, so do as much as humanly possible (or allowed to).
Take charge today and go forth and nag the relevant person at your school… you can do placements during the shorter school breaks.