The post-COVID hiring scene paints a rather bleak picture. Every industry has seen a decline in job openings, according to job searching platform Glassdoor. While economies around the world are slowly getting back on their feet, the hiring market is still underperforming, especially for novices who have no work experience and are fresh out of college.
Without internships and gaining that all-important work experience, how will you prep yourself for the job market? How will your potential employer know that you have what it takes to be successful in the role you have been hired for? This is where ‘work like experiences’ help.
What are work-like experiences?
Work-like experiences are activities that provide you with experience similar to what working professionals gain in a workplace. These work-like experiences help in preparing you to take up employment, by making you fully eligible in terms of being hands-on, for a particular role.
Work like experience will help you:
- Develop employability skills by gaining active, real-time work experience
- Develop new skills to explore new opportunities and become attractive candidates for new roles
- Prepare you for the next step in your career after school/college
- Understand corporate work culture
- Build your professional network
- Remain motivated
And it’s not just for fresh graduates. This model even benefits professionals who have to upskill or re-skill—a necessary practice to remain relevant in the current job market.
Technology is changing at breakneck speed. Fields like automation, artificial intelligence, and data science have a ripe job market; but these jobs require a workforce that is equipped with the right skills. Refining your existing skills can make you an attractive candidate for these job roles. Here again, work-like experiences can add that something extra to your resume and set you apart from novices.
Difficulty faced by students for getting internships due to Covid-19 and work from home in most organisations
Most employers have cancelled their internship programs due to the financial crisis-Yello
Internships are geared towards helping students become industry-ready and get the jobs they desire. They represent an ideal win-win situation, not just for software engineering students but also for the industry they are trying to get into. For the student, because it gives them all the skills they need to be successful at the workplace; and for the industry, because they are getting resources who have on-the-job experience and can be immediately deployed to be productive.
But the pandemic resulted in internships being cancelled across the board. This can have serious implications on the job prospects of entry-level workers who have no way to gain experience or demonstrate their skills and capabilities to prospective employers.
The economic effects of the COVID-19 economy on young workers may persist for years—Economic Policy Institute
The pre-COVID economy is in dark blue and dark orange, while light blue and light orange shows the current economy. Orange bars represent workers ages 16–24, and blue bars represent workers ages 25+. In pre-COVID months, the unemployment rate for workers ages 16–24 (8.4%) was three times as high as for workers ages 25 and up (2.8%)— Economic Policy Institute
The only way to break through this unemployability barrier is by gaining industry-ready skills through work-like experiences. Showcase your skills, capability and employability to potential employers.
Benefits of work-like experiences over traditional internships
Work-like experience is a complete win-win for those undertaking it.
- For starters, one does not have to travel to a workplace like you would have to do for an internship. Work-like experiences are remote and can be undertaken from anywhere.
- You have the advantage of learning from a relaxed, yet formal work environment. For example, consider KnowledgeHut’s adaptive outcome-based learning model that helps students gain work-like experience by working on an industry-grade capstone project.
- Traditional internships are time bound and if you are a student, you have to complete it during your college break. But online work-like experience can be gained at any time, in parallel with your studies or a part-time job.
- Online work-like experiences give you the freedom of working across geographies. You can gain international exposure and choose the work you like best, be it in research, programming, web development, data science or project management.
- Work-like experience helps you get customised guidance on the subject of your choice. Experiment with a number of technology stacks and programs and gain proficiency in one or all. There is no limit to how much you can learn!
How work-like experiences can be leveraged in job interviews, in lieu of internships
Studies show that internships do lead to jobs, with 63% of paid internships resulting in a job offer. Compared to this, 37% of unpaid internships also resulted in a job offer, while only 35% of students who did not do any internship at all were offered a job.
So, if you are unable to take on an internship after your studies, what is the next best step?
Work-like experiences are the way to gain industry exposure in-between college and a job. Employers are increasingly looking to hire experienced professionals, and this leaves fresh graduates and entry-level workers in the crux. You cannot gain experience without a job and at the same time you won’t get hired because you lack experience.
Not only is this a great option for students, but it also provides a perfect solution for recruiters who needn’t invest in training new hires as they are already primed with the skills that is expected for the job.
KnowledgeHut is offering work-like projects with their e-learning courses which will help learners get a hands-on understanding of the technology/software they’re trying to master.
All KnowledgeHut courses are delivered through PRISM, an immersive learning experience platform that facilitates hands-on exercises, lively discussions, and team collaboration with a focus on finding practical solutions to real-world scenarios in various projects environments, both big and small. You do not need any prior training or prerequisites to gain these work-like experiences but at the end of it you will be well qualified to make your mark in your chosen industry.