Search and apply for courses at universities, colleges and schools in Australia, the UK, the USA and Canada - StudyLink

« Polytechnic University teams up with NYU | Main | The world depends on engineers »

Gain industry experience during your degree

Engineering is a highly practical discipline, so it’s no surprise that many degrees include an internship or industrial placement.

Often known as ‘sandwich courses’, or ‘co-operative education programs’ in the US, placements are nothing like work experience at school. They usually last a year, and involve doing a real job in a real company for a real salary. You won’t be making tea or photocopying – but you might develop new products or represent your company at conferences around the world!

Bhavit Singh, from India, studied a BSc(Hons) in Software Engineering at Kingston University. He strongly believes in the importance of applying university knowledge in a practical way, so he took a placement at Merrill Lynch as an analyst developer for 15 months during his degree.

It’s great to know that the application I developed is still being used in more than 16 offices across Europe and the Middle East. The placement completely changed my views and learning style. Once I returned to Kingston for my final year, I started thinking about the practical implementation of each subject,” he says.

The importance of industry experience

Sandwich courses allow you to:

  • Add work experience to your CV
  • Get better results in your final year of study (it’s a proven fact!)
  • Develop your professional skills
  • Build your confidence
  • Provide you with valuable industry contacts for your future career.

All this, and you get paid too – which may help reduce your student debt.

Get a competitive advantage

Graduate employers looks for industry experience when they are recruiting. Sukaina Dharas from Accenture Technology Solutions says; “We find that candidate who have completed a placement tend to perform better in graduate interviews. They have a clearer understanding of what is involved on a client project.”

About a quarter of all students at the Russ College of Engineering and Technology at the University of Ohio participate in their Co-op program. Over 240 different employers offer paid, career-related work experience, including Boeing, BP America and IBM. All majors except aviation can participate.

In London, all electronic engineering courses at the University of Westminster offer a sandwich placement opportunity. Recent graduates from the program have gone on to have successful global careers at companies such as WAIRD Telecom in Pakistan, Network Rail in the UK and Nigerian telecommunications Ltd.

At the University of Portsmouth, in the south of England, all undergraduate degree courses have an optional sandwich year, where students can spend their third year in a work placement in England, Germany or France. You can choose from over 20 engineering course specialisations, including Building Services Technology, Computer Engineering and Product Design and Innovation.

Portsmouth’s Engineering Department has close links with employers, ensuring a wide range of ‘real-life’ company based final year projects as well as work placements. And the University’s Industrial Advisory Board, which includes senior members of industry and academic staff, meet regularly to develop courses as the industry’s requirements are constantly evolving.

To learn more about the ways an engineering degree industry placement could help you, talk with one of our student counsellors.

Bookmark and Share


I am a Nigerian student of the University Of Nigeria,Nsukka.Am in third year Mechanical Engineer,search for a firm in Germany where I can do my Student Industrial Work Experience.Please I would be grateful if you could link me up.My cellphone number is 07035091865.Thanks for your usual understanding and co-operation.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe Now

Get your monthly Student Adventures update for free!


Study in the UK
Study in Australia
Study in US
Study in Europe
Study in Netherlands
MBA Courses

StudyLink Discussion Forums

Sponsored Links

Higher Education Blog Directory