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Selecting projects and activities for Digital and IT industry placements

The digital world is ever growing and has huge potential for industry placements.

This skill area will have 3 T Levels:

  • Digital Production, Design and Development
  • Digital Support and Services
  • Digital Business Services

Within these, students can pursue specialisms such as:

  • digital production, design and development
  • digital infrastructure
  • network cabling
  • digital support
  • data technician

Digital and IT working environments are incredibly diverse, with organisations of all sizes, and in all industries and sectors, including of course IT specialists.

Ideal placements could include web design, software development, IT support, programming, digital marketing, games development and animation.

Identifying placement projects in Digital and IT 

Look for projects and activities for placement students that:

  • line up with your future skills needs in terms of technology and working practices
  • will attract and challenge high-calibre students who are aiming for a career in Digital and IT
  • will demand specific digital and IT skills from students
  • provide opportunities for students to make a meaningful contribution to live projects, but recognising that they are likely to be new to the world of work and so need to be involved in lower risk or non-critical systems and processes
  • allow learning and contribution without being an added burden for their supervisors, or slowing down overall projects or business processes

Below, we’ve described 3 example scenarios of projects and activities that could be suitable for placement students. We encourage you to think about placement opportunities that can offer relevant experience to students and can add value to your organisation.

You can use the Planning the content of an industry placement article to structure industry placement projects and activities, to provide meaningful experience for the student, and to deliver tangible benefits for your organisation.

Industry placement example scenarios

Contents

Website development

Working with the web development team in this medium-sized web design agency, the student contributed to a large website creation project, including sourcing content from the internet, coding and working within the company’s content management systems.

The placement involved 2 blocks of work, firstly, during the development phase of the site and, secondly, after launch.

Projects and activities:

  • Interpret and analyse website designs and conduct internet research to find possible video content and links
  • Review and comment on branding, interface design and user experience
  • Use collaboration tools to work with website developers
  • Create a template to describe what needs to be done to test the website during user acceptance testing
  • Analyse and present website traffic data using analytics

IT help desk and support

Attending 2 days a week, throughout the second year of their course, the student supported internal customers, on the phone and online, in this large retail chain.

In the first part of the placement the student shadowed an experienced member of the IT Support Team. Later in their placement the student worked independently with lighter-touch supervision.

Projects and activities:

  • Respond to user enquiries about hardware and software issues and faults, troubleshooting and practical problem solving
  • Connect devices for in-store demonstration and display
  • Provide simple technical briefings to sales staff on new technology products
  • Maintain Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system data to record user support interventions, outcomes and feedback
  • Set up and maintain mobile devices for deployment by delivery drivers, testing network connections and security

Data analysis

The student was part of a team using datasets in a large pharmaceutical company. The industry placement was designed to provide experience of simple analysis, statistics, and data management.

Over the 10-week block placement, the student helped collect, assemble, analyse and interpret data that fed into live change projects.

Projects and activities:

  • Data mining, collection, formatting and saving of datasets
  • Merge datasets from multiple sources for further advanced analysis by others
  • Clean data, for example, remove duplicates, typos, out of date data, find faults, and test data integrity
  • Use data analysis tools and basic statistical techniques to identify trends and patterns in data
  • Prepare reports to communicate data and results to several different audiences, using a range of techniques

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