When selecting a university many think about academics — the importance of in-class learning, studying and achieving top marks. While all these things are important, coupling theoretical knowledge with real-life practical experience can be the key differentiating factor to land you a job once you graduate. In today’s competitive job market, employers are placing an increased emphasis on education that focuses on hands-on experience in the classroom or community and builds transferable skills for the workplace.
This is why York University offers a diverse range of experiential education opportunities—in the classroom, the workplace, the community and abroad—to help you bring learning to life. With hundreds of international exchanges, unique guest speakers, student-led community improvement projects, internships, co-operative education placements and more, your opportunities to put your passion into practice are endless.
Here are the top reasons why hands-on experience is crucial to becoming career-ready when you graduate:
- It introduces you to the world. Making the shift from a school mindset to a working mentality can be difficult. From in-class speakers to co-op education, students are given the opportunity to integrate their classroom learning with hands-on experience, as well as alternate periods of study with periods of hands-on learning. This allows students to ease into working life without being thrown in head first.
- It sets you apart from other candidates. York’s international exchange program provides a multitude of different opportunities from around the world, enabling students to earn a portion of their credits in countries like Australia, Brazil, China, France, India and more. This not only exposes them to different cultures, but gives them experiences that other job applicants will likely not have.
- It can help you identify your own strengths and skills. Through internships either locally or globally, supervised learning lets students gain experience in their field while being reviewed and given feedback to help them excel and capitalize on their skills.
- It shows your areas of interest and character. Community-based education at York University creates opportunities for students to form valuable connections with their neighbours. One such program is Kin Kids program, which gives undergraduate kinesiology students the chance to lead local school children in games designed to boost physical activity and improve physical health. This can give employers a sense of your good character and help them feel confident that you will contribute to a positive work culture. At York University, many of our programs are designed with community-based education as an integral part of learning.
- It helps you build connections in the industry. Through hands-on experience in the community or classroom, students develop not only the key transferable competencies and skills necessary for the workplace, but also a network of contacts in their field before they graduate.
Bringing the modern classroom out into the world provides students with unique experiential learning that inspires new ways of thinking and ultimately sets them up for success.