Work integrated learning in Australia
Earn hands-on exposure while you study and be job-ready before you graduate
Australia, home to many world-class universities, is known for its quality education. More so, it is known for its strong education system which allows the students to learn at a holistic level and be job-ready on the completion of their studies. With work integrated learning (WIL) being an essential part of the curriculum, students who graduate from an Australian university have a competitive advantage over their peers.
What is Work Integrated Learning?
Work Integrated Learning is a common term for various activities that integrate theoretical (academic) learning with hands-on training of the discipline in a real-world work situation. It is a great way to help university students gain some practical work experience while studying. In fact, WIL is an essential part of some courses like nursing, pharmacy, public health, social work, engineering, business studies, etc. and students can take credits of the WIL into their program as it’s a part of their course. Many popular institutions like Monash Business School, RMIT University, Deakin University, etc. are known to have strong WIL curriculums.
Types of Work Integrated Learning
The type of WIL depends upon the course/stream a student chooses to pursue. On the basis of the stream a student has enrolled in, universities will have different WIL arrangements. The most common WIL activities that help prepare students be job-ready while studying include the internships, project-based work, work placement, clinical placement, apprenticeship, simulations, fieldwork, etc.
To produce a highly skilled workforce, the universities, and industries work hand-in-hand to train students and provide them practical, hands-on exposure so they understand how to apply what they have learnt in their classroom to a real-life work scenario. This exposure goes a long way to have a better grasp at their subject as well as gain an edge in the job market once the students graduate.
Share of WIL participation by type of activities
Many Australian universities involve employers as a part of their learning programs to support students’ employability. It also works best for the industries as they look forward to recruit university graduates who fulfill their skill requirements.
Benefits of Work Integrated Learning
WIL benefits students in more ways than one. Apart from the biggest advantage of having a stronger resume and work-ready skills, they gain an insight into their future industries. While on the job, they are also able to earn tips of the trade, mentorship from the senior staff, interaction with the company’s human resources team to understand the different attributes they are looking for in prospective employees. As a student, you also get to:
Enhance your knowledge
Learn new skills
Get hands-on training
Develop problem-solving skills
Build team building and soft skills
Become more employable
Develop a stronger work profile
Network with industry people
Australian universities stay connected with employers in many other engaging ways like recruitment sessions by experts where students can learn more about the skill set required to be a potential employee. Such sessions help students enhance their skills according to the running trends in the industry and future prospects. Various employers also actively participate in the universities’ on-campus job fairs where the students get a chance to apply before their semester is over. While some students are able to earn exciting internships, many students bag a get job offer before they have graduated from the university.
With WIL being an integral part of the curriculum, students can expect to receive a well-rounded experience in Australia and use this industry experience to land a competitive job while they apply for a post-study work visa after completing their studies.
Updated on August 27, 2020
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With more than 14 years of experience in overseas education industry, Disha is currently managing client relations for Australia for IDP India and Nepal. With her role as a Senior Manager, she works closely with Australian universities and institutions. Her key role is to help promote education in Australia with the help of her team in India and Nepal and use her expertise to guide students carve their careers in Australia.