Differences Between Professional Practices, Work Experience And Work-Based Courses

Some consider that the best learning environment is the workplace. Although titles and skills are very valuable, companies in recruitment processes often see a plus in those with real and applicable experience.

Despite this, universities do not always offer students work practice options, either for an academic period or a year. It is common that the student is expected to find and specify these opportunities for work practice, during vacation periods or even in short periods of academic recess of one or two weeks.

Short professional practices

It is a pity, since today the internship programs are highly demanded (especially for attractive and reputable companies). This means that you have to plan with enough time and have the luck to be selected. (Ironically, some of these practices require prior work experience!).

These short professional practices can also be complex, since there is no guarantee of obtaining payment for them. Many times, the “payment” is the experience you acquire. This can be especially difficult for students, because:

A) It can be very expensive to pay for transportation, equipment, appropriate clothing, etc.

B) Loss of potential income in a different job.

C) It may be impossible for students (especially international ones) to sustain themselves economically outside of the periods of study (rent, food, etc.).

D) Working outside the academic period could be problematic in visa issues.

In addition, short professional practices are that: short. While a week, or two, or three are undoubtedly more valuable than having no experience, at the same time, they are not as useful as the practices of full periods or that allow more experience.

Work-based courses

Fortunately, there are courses that incorporate periods or modules of real work experience. It depends on the study area that this modality is applied. It is usual that courses that involve a specific role tend to have an element based on work. For example, teaching (education) courses tend to have more real experience than a degree or degree in mathematics.

Part of the attraction of “broader” courses is the option of certain work roles that are applicable after graduation, although it is understandable that you reduce the amount of attention in the course itself.

Although it is possible that these courses are offered in which you are encouraged to find your own work placement, it is important to investigate if these opportunities really exist in the curriculum. It can be very difficult to skip to module or reorganize it if your priority is to achieve this work experience.

Do not let this discourage you, universities motivate students in this aspect even if they are not part of the course.

It is beneficial for the University to have the largest number of graduates working and offering job opportunities to their students, even for a short period of time, as this increases the chance that students will find a position in the future. In the same way, the University could help you find an opportunity or provide some other form of help.

Work experience

There are always ways to obtain traditional work experience if you cannot find a course that contains a specific period of time to work, or if you cannot sustain yourself outside the study period while you gain experience. This will depend on what your goal is in terms of work experience.

Some people may not be looking for specific work experience. After all, not all college students will end up working in their area of ​​study.

 It is common for students to head into an area that gives them the opportunity to choose from a number of options, as they may feel they need more life or work experience in order to make the right decisions.

This is particularly true for students looking to study outside of their country. One of the most common reasons for students seeking international education is to learn a new language or simply get work experience anywhere, not necessarily related to their course.

If either of these is the case, then it becomes easier to find the right work experience, as the more options increase. Obviously, these forms of work experience are less integrated into your career and you will have enough time to work in the service industry (a sector in which many students get work for the ease of employability and the practice of languages ​​and work experience they provide).

These types of work can be beneficial compared to short work practices because they can be paid, which helps you with support if you work outside of the academic period. It is also very useful, since it can help you pay for your career in terms of rent or tuition costs.

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