If you’ve spent some time in the past few months researching tertiary education opportunities, you may have heard about something called Work Integrated Learning or WIL.
Universities across the world are adopting this new and exciting type of tertiary development program. WIL comes in many forms, such as internships, field education, and professional practice, offering an enormous range of real-world experiences for curious students to explore.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what Work Integrated Learning is and discuss its many benefits.
Work Integrated Learning: what is it, and who offers it?
Many universities and other higher education providers offer Work Integrated Learning programs to help students improve their employability and gain practical workplace experience. Your choice of WIL program will usually relate directly to your course or degree and will count towards your final assessment.
WIL options include:
- Clinical placements
- Field education
- Vocational practice
- Professional practice
- Industry projects
- Community organisation projects
Where relevant placements or projects are unavailable, some universities offer simulated work environments arranged within the university.
During their WIL experience, students will integrate practices and theories suited to the working world, including:
- Meeting deadlines
- Managing interpersonal working relationships
- Handling workplace pressures
- Prioritising tasks effectively
- Delivering on briefs
- Developing professional competencies
The applications of Work Integrated Learning are vast and can take students far beyond their formal university studies—even overseas!
Build your network
As we all know, networking plays an essential role in the working world.
By participating in a WIL program, you’ll build vital connections necessary for advancing your career after graduation. You’ll get to know colleagues, clients, and fellow interns, building lasting relationships and experiencing different perspectives about your industry.
When the time comes to seek permanent employment, you’ll have a solid network to consult for advice, references, or career opportunities.
Broaden your industry knowledge
By jumping straight into the working world, you’re exposing yourself instantly to a wide breadth of industry knowledge—both locally and globally.
Because WIL offers a low-risk environment to explore your goals and interests, the world is your oyster when it comes to gaining new industry information. You’ll be free to ask questions, try new things, and even offer unique, innovative solutions to lingering problems.
Gaining a better understanding of your industry will also help you decide whether or not you’d like to continue along your chosen career path. You may discover alternative pathways or choose to reroute your goals entirely.
Develop your resume and gain relevant skills
Work Integrated Learning programs offer an outstanding addition to your resume and will demonstrate to future employers your skills, dedication, and unique industry experience.
WIL is about more than assessment—it’s about developing life-long professional skills to help you prepare for an exciting and challenging career. Some students may also progress directly from their WIL placement into a permanent position.
Work Integrated Learning projects offer new, innovative ways for students to build real-world skills and grow their understanding of their chosen industry. Through placements, projects, or simulated learning, curious students will build industry-relevant skills, meet new people, and broaden their horizons for a flourishing future.