Placement team used as a national example of best practice

Group of placement students with placement officer

A national report on industry placements for computer science students uses the School of Computing’s placement team an example of best practice. The report, Growing Experience: A Review of Undergraduate Placements in Computer Science by the National Centre for Universities and Businesses, was published on 14 January. It highlights the ‘organic growth’ model which is part of the placement team strategy.

The report investigates the relatively high level of unemployment for computer science graduates nationally, despite rapid growth in the technology sector, a trend which does not apply to all Kent CS graduates and particularly those with a Year in Industry placement. The results of the last NSS survey showed that 100% of Kent Computer Science with a Year in Industry students were employed in a professional or managerial role within six months of graduation.

The report’s authors said: ‘We surveyed forty Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the UK about the quality and quantity of current computing placement activity, and explored in depth their views, working practices and their perception of the barriers to student uptake.’

Katie Van Sanden, one of the School’s two placement officers said: ‘We pride ourselves on being a dedicated Placement Office whose sole purpose is to find suitable year-long placements to complement the theory taught on the course. Over the years, we have managed to build strong relationships with industry, regularly ‘growing’ our own placements organically through the recommendation of graduates to their new employers and sustaining good relationships with employers that last many years.’