In today’s competitive job market, having a degree may not get you your dream job, unless you have relevant work experience as well. This has become a mandatory part of the curriculum in the modern education system. Getting a degree can be a tremendous asset for gaining knowledge; however, it is not the only way to stand out to potential employers.

In order to kick-start your career, having relevant work experience could set you apart from others those appearing for a job interview. It can prove to be an asset while appearing in the placement process.

Often students get confused about how they can attain work experience without working full-time in an organisation. However, nowadays there are a number of opportunities like internships, freelancing, part-time jobs, etc, which can be done while studying that can help you gain work experience.

The skills attained can become an important factor when you are vying for your dream job. Here are some of the factors that demonstrate as for how work experience is imperative for students:

Advancement in knowledge: Your academics will ensure subjective knowledge, but, working in the industry can bring an understanding of a work place which is very important. A student attains awareness about the job, as well as work environment, followed with an entirely fresh outlook towards the industry only after gaining work experience.

Gateway to dream job: Taking the present competitive job scenario in consideration, work experience for a student can prove to be an added advantage in their resume. Employers prefer candidates who have knowledge of the industry. It becomes an important part of becoming workplace ready.

Skill development: Work experience is a great way to develop fundamental employability skills like communication, problem-solving, creativity, teamwork, etc, which ensures an exceptional personality development. A student is made industry ready for placements when they possess a set of skills required for a job. In the current job scenario, the recruiters are actively looking forward to the candidates with work experience.

Training over experience: Work experience has become a part of training attained during your academics. By doing training or part time work along with academics, students can get practical knowledge and understand various roles work in an organisation. Training provides useful and practical skills that cannot be taught in the classroom.

Extensive career options: With work experience, your career options are not limited to the fresher profiles. An experienced student enjoys the privilege to apply on the different profiles that ask for relevant work experience. But, what’s even more significant is that a student attains the understanding of working in diverse profiles which opens the door to kick-start their career in their preferred role.

Experiential learning has become a significant factor in the recruitment of a candidate. A degree must be a blend of academic knowledge followed by experiential learning which can help in the advancement of key skills. There are a number of ways a student can attain work experience while continuing with studies. Those are summer internships, virtual internships, volunteering, active participation in college corporate events, and winter internships.
Working in an organisation while pursuing a degree enables a student to implement essential concepts acquired from learning into the real working situations. Experience has become the need of the hour in order to become work-place ready.

The Indian economy is immensely changing with an upsurge of jobs in different sectors, especially, media. This sector is enjoying an outstanding share in the job market. It is predicted to be worth Rs 1,964 crore by 2019. Students are actively looking for mass communication courses after +2.

Recruiters nowadays prefer candidates who are experienced in relevant fields. Though it would be not justified to claim that academics are less valued than work experience, the practical implementation of learned concepts in training makes it even more valid in the eyes of recruiters.

These techniques, if applied, will be extremely beneficial for the students. All you need to do is play smart and prepare yourself to become work-ready.

The writer is senior director, Institute of Management Studies, Noida