Did you know that work experience is starting to take off in a very big way? If not, now’s the time to change that.

Girl using laptop 600 work experience opportunities

There’s no doubt that it can be hugely beneficial for your future career if you find work experience, because it can help you get involved in great new challenges and start developing the skills you need to be successful.

A lot more businesses now offer opportunities for young people across a range of ages, handing you the chance to gain great insights into the world of work from very early on – before even leaving school in many cases.

For example, you can now find meaningful work experience for year 10 students that offers you real responsibility and the chance to develop valuable skills.

Organisations supporting year 10 work experience

We’re working with a lot of brilliant companies in order to shout loudly about the value of work experience opportunities, while simultaneously helping our Next Tech Girls to become the future generation of women in technology.

For instance, employers that have already thrown their weight firmly behind this initiative include the likes of Virgin Money, Wayra, Cognifide, Centrica Connected Homes and Empiric.

By spending time and immersing yourself in a professional environment, you get a chance to see things with a different perspective and play a part in real projects.

You don’t just need to take our word for it though. Here’s what Danielle – who spent some time working at Wayra, a start-up accelerator – took away from her experience.

“The best thing was brainstorming ideas in meetings and seeing how they constructed apps.”

“I use technology in my day to day life but I didn’t really know a lot about it,” she told The Memo. “The best thing was brainstorming ideas in meetings and seeing how they constructed apps.”

From IT security to social media

One of the best things about the technology and digital sector is that there’s virtually no end to the number of different things you can try out, or become involved in.

While Danielle was learning about building apps at Wayra, Georgiana was finding out about diverse subjects such as information security and social media during her time with Virgin Money.

Reflecting on her time at the company, she said: “As an aspiring student this was such a confidence boost for me, not having [been] involved with an office environment before. The experience definitely makes me look forward to a future in IT, especially since I am part of the Next Tech Girls experience.”

Work experience placements: this is only the start

As we mentioned at the beginning, these programmes are indeed starting to take off. But in many ways we are still in the early stages of the journey.

“The experience definitely makes me look forward to a future in IT, especially since I am part of the Next Tech Girls experience.”

Many companies are only just starting to bulk up and expand their work experience offerings, as they come to realise how many benefits they also get out of it.

In many ways, it’s as helpful for the companies as it is for the girls, because they get to play a big part in teaching the next generation about the technology industry, while also giving girls a chance to learn about skills they must develop in order to succeed.

Next Tech Girls itself has only been going since the end of 2015, so we’re also learning about what works and what doesn’t. However, while we don’t yet have all of the answers, there are some things that we ARE definitely sure about, namely:

  • you only learn by doing
  • a new experience is better than no experience
  • life is one great big learning curve – so make sure you’re heading in the right direction!

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