Year in Employment Scheme

Taking a year out to work during your degree course is a rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally. It's an excellent way to develop skills, confidence and motivation, which will help you to perform at a higher level when you return to your studies for your final year, as well as when you complete your degree and enter the graduate labour market.

At Aberystwyth University, two options for a year in employment are available:

  1. Some academic departments offer 4-year 'integrated' degree programmes that include a 'Year in Industry' in Year 3 (sometimes referred to as the Industrial Year, or 'sandwich' year); if you are following an integrated degree programme, speak to your personal tutor and/or staff in your academic department about the arrangements for the Year in Industry.
  2. For students who are not following an integrated degree programme, the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) is available. YES is administered by our team here in the Careers Service and has been running successfully at Aberystwyth University for over 40 years, enabling students from any subject discipline to undertake a year in employment between the second and third year of undergraduate study.

What are the benefits of a Year in Employment?

As you know, the graduate job market is extremely competitive. Recruiters are looking for graduates who have good academic qualifications but also commercial awareness and other relevant transferable skills that will help them to quickly contribute to the workplace. There is no doubt that one of the best ways to develop these skills and ‘employability’ is through work experience.

As well as these work-related skills though, a year out in work also contributes a great deal to your personal development, leading to, for example, greater confidence, self-awareness, resilience and career-management skills. It can also provide the opportunity to:

  • be fully exposed to the commercial world and gain a deeper understanding of how different sectors, organisations, teams and individuals work
  • test out career ideas and confirm career choice
  • earn a salary
  • receive training, which may count towards a professional qualification
  • learn a new language
  • experience the culture of another country if you opt to work outside the UK
  • meet new friends
  • make great professional contacts and develop new networks that will be useful as your career develops
  • prove your value to your host employer – which could lead to a graduate job offer!

A year out in work often has a positive impact on academic work too, by giving you the chance to:

  • apply learning gained through your academic studies in Years 1 and 2 to real situations in the workplace
  • start research work for your final year dissertation
  • improve your final year exam marks by utilising the additional knowledge and skills acquired during the placement, e.g. time management, making presentations, working with others.

What next?

Remember that, if you're on an integrated degree programme already, the first thing to do is to speak to staff in your academic department about how the Year in Industry works.

But, if the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) run by the Careers Service sounds a good option for you, please first read our step-by-step guide to YES which provides detailed information about YES and what to do next.

And don't just take our word for it… these YES Profiles will give you a flavour of what previous students have done during their Year in Employment and of how taking part in YES has helped them.

We look forward to hearing from you!