Brooks, Ruth and Youngson, Paul L. (2016) Undergraduate work placements: an analysis of the effects on career progression. Studies in Higher Education, 41 (9). pp. 1563-1578. ISSN 0307-5079

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Combining work experience with degree-level study is seen as a key differentiator for securing employment upon graduation in a competitive employment market. The positive benefits of sandwich courses, where up to twelve months is spent working in industry, are widely acknowledged in academic literature though data analysis tends to focus on cohorts in single subject areas with course-based factors possibly influencing outcomes. This paper explores the benefits of work placements on a cross-cohort basis with an institutional level study empirically analysing over three academic years the outcomes for placement students in comparison to non-placement students. The study found that completing a sandwich work placement is associated with improved academic performance in the final year of study. Placement students are also more likely to secure appropriate graduate-level work and higher starting salaries upon completion of their degree in comparison to non-placement students.

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