Students choose work experience over pay in bid to secure top jobs

Eight in 10 students believe work experience will help to build a career, with half certain that it will help their quest for a graduate job, new research has found.

A survey of more than 1,200 students by career website, found that only 22% selected their place of work for the money. Instead, gaining experience to help them get a job after graduation was the most important factor for 76% of respondents.

Up to a quarter of students had worked for no wage, while 78% had worked for minimum wage or less.

Additional reasons for taking up work experience included: how good it would look on their CV, a convenient location, getting a ‘taster’ of a job or sector, and gaining experience to help them get on a course.

More than a third of respondents found out about work experience opportunities by word of mouth, with 16% arranging their placements through a careers service.

Chris Phillips, publishing director for UK and Ireland at publishing firm GTI said: “Providing good work experience benefits students who learn valuable skills and improve their CVs and it benefits employers who get a fast-track to the best recruits. Despite what people may think, money is not the major factor in students’ minds.”

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