If you are worried about taking time out and how it will affect your career, comments from employers will help you weigh up what is best for you and your future.
The benefits of time out
There is overwhelming employer support for the skills that can be gathered during time out and the maturity that many students develop through these experiences. Employers feel that time out is beneficial especially if you:
- Spend your time out constructively.
- Identify the skills you have gained.
- Highlight significant achievements.
- Sell the experience to your potential employers.
The possible pitfalls
Larger employers, and those with more flexible recruitment procedures, are more likely to view time out positively but you should weigh up the possible negative impact of time out as well:
- Giving the impression you drifted into a year out and are still not sure of your career direction is extremely off-putting to potential employers.
- Taking a second period of time out could cause a potential worry for employers and they would want to see very good reasons for the second period of time out.
Deferring entry to employment or further study
Some large employers will consider giving you deferred entry for a graduate job but, in reality, these opportunities are limited.
Most employers require you to apply on your return but you could complete an online application during your gap year, so that you don't have to wait for the next recruitment cycle to start when you get back.
Postgraduate course tutors usually want you to apply the year you want to start, but may informally agree to deferred entry.
What experiences have other students had?
"I had no problems with companies being stuffy about my year out - and many found it interesting and a talking point at interviews."
(Biological Sciences graduate)