Information for prospective students
Find out about the 800 hours of work experience required for a BE(Hons) degree and how it enhances your studies.
Welcome to the Work Experience Programme! The goal of the programme is to assist you to become what industry refers to as "work ready".
Work-ready encompasses the idea that technical skills are necessary, but not sufficient to gain employment in many workplaces. When you consider that companies are a collection of people, all pulling in a common direction, the ability to work well with others and pull in the same direction, becomes important.
Many IT students undertake tertiary studies to acquire technical skills; and this of course is ok. After all technical skills are necessary.
This programme will push you to talk directly with industry. From them you will also learn that technical skills are not sufficient. There are a variety of reasons for this, for example, many employers ask themselves "Do I want to work with this person for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for the next few years?". These are big questions that fundamentally impact whether people enjoy coming to work or not.
In this programme you will experience work environments and reflect on those experiences, in many cases while applying your technical theory to practical problems. In the process you will reflect on, for example, business culture, behavioural norms and employer expectations of people working for real wages. You will also gain experiences that will make you far more attractive to future employers.
Work experience is a key part of the Engineering degree and is optional for Computer Science.
The Engineering requirement is to complete 800 hours of work experience. Work experience is typically paid work, within an IT workplace, applying your degree under suitable industry supervision. We can recognise up to 400 hours of non-IT work experience where you can reflect on the soft skills practised that also apply to an IT work environment.
The work is normally completed over two summers. Some students elect to continue with their IT employer part-time over the teaching trimester and this will also contribute to the required hours. Placements of less than 150 hours in duration are typically not considered.
The goals of work experience are:
- To apply taught theory in the workplace.
- To experience an IT work culture, IT work practices and increase your network of industry peers.
- To engage with work teams in industry, learn from industry veterans and engage positively with industry peers to solve large problems.
- To reflect on these experiences and demonstrate your ability to derive useful learning from your reflection.
As a framework to help manage your work experience, we have set up three professional courses that you will need to pass. The courses have zero cost and contribute zero points towards your degree, but encapsulate and will enable you to achieve the 800 hours mandatory requirement.
The courses are:
These courses will appear on your academic transcript. They do not impact your GPA.
You are encouraged to complete all work experience before you begin your Honours year. A timeline for work experience in years 2 to 4 of the BE(Hons) degree is:
Summer of Year 2 - 400 hours Work Experience (Professional or Practical)
Summer of Year 3 - 400 hours Work Experience (Professional)
Summer of Year 4 - Further Work Experience if required
Other arrangements are typically acceptable, however you will not be able to graduate until your work experience is completed.
More information about work experience is available from: