Work Based Learning

What Is Work-Based Learning?

Work-based learning includes internships, job shadowing mentoring and apprenticeship. It's a way to get hands on experience in the work place. 

Work-based learning is your chance to discover things you can't learn in a classroom.

Get inside information about the career you are interested in, or simply get a taste of what it is really like on the job.

Why Choose Work-Based Learning?

  • Benefits to students: Work-based learning can help students improve academically. It helps them to learn how the things they learn in the classroom are connected to the real world. It is also a great way to explore career options.
  • Benefits to Schools: Work-based learning can improve student motivation, attendance and graduation rates. It can also improve the school's relationship with the community.     
  • Benefits to Employers: Work-based learning helps employers reduce their recruitment and training cost. It also helps them hire better-employees who understand workplace expectations.

What's Stopping You?

Don't let any of these common myths about work-based learning keep you from trying it out:.

  • I want to get paid: Some opportunities are unpaid or volunteer, but all apprenticeships and certain internships come with a salary.
  • I'm a student and I'm already too busy: Some opportunities can be arranged during class time. So, instead of attending class can gain work experience and apply the knowledge you've gained in the classroom. 
  • I'd have to commit to something long-term: Opportunities typically last a semester and allow you to see if this a place you'd like to work upon graduation or successful completion of your program. 
  • I'm already working so what's the point?: Is your job related to your program of study? If not a work based learning experience is ideal so that you can gain valuable work experience, build your portfolio and learn new skills. 

What are the Benefits of Job Shadowing?

According to Writer, B. Miller and Editor Andrew Jones of Wise Geek Education, there are numerous benefits to Job Shadowing, whether an individual is simply shadowing someone for a few hours to learn what the job entails, or as part of a lengthier training process.  Students will often be given the opportunity to shadow someone for a day who is already working in their chosen career path; this allows the student to see if he or she has made a good choice, to ask any question about the work, and to make valuable contact for future employment prospects.

When an individual is doing job shadowing as part of the training process, this allows him or her to immediately learn from real-life situations rather than simulated ones in a classroom, which generally is faster and more effective.

Perhaps the greatest benefit to people who shadow someone for the day, whether an individual is a student or not, is the amount of contact he or she makes.  Even if the individual does not get a great deal of work experience, he or she will generally at least have a few names and numbers for future career opportunities and job applications.