Although considered a relatively new category in the educational IT world, the work placement systems rely on the old employment agency model. These solutions aim to build relationships between students and employers in a one-stop-shop environment to offer job opportunities.
Definition of a Work Placement System
We could define a work placement system as a tool that offers job opportunities to students. In reality, it is a bit more complex than that. Some solutions focus on internships in the medical field (MD, nursing), while others concentrate on cooperative education, but overall, work placement tools in educational institutions are designed to complement the academic path taken by students.
Solutions in this product group may include many experiential learning opportunities: curriculum placement, clinical placement, work experience, internships, industry projects, volunteering, graduate placements and international opportunities.
Work placement systems are not career readiness solutions. While career readiness systems aim to equip students with soft skills to succeed in the job market, work placement systems act as a liaison between students and employers.
History of Cooperative Education and Work Placement Solutions
The work-based learning is not a new concept. Herman Schneider developed the concept of cooperative education when he founded the first co-op program at the University of Cincinnati in 1906. Other universities in North America formalized cooperative education as early as 1910. At first, it was all about engineering (mainly mechanical and automotive), but it later expanded to liberal arts and business.
Even if cooperative education is a century-old concept, work placement solutions only emerged at the end of the 20th century in North America. In the US, Symplicity (1996) was one of the first solutions accessible to universities and colleges. Orbis (now part of Symplicity) gained its first contracts in 2002 on the Canadian market. ARC Technologies (1990), a UK company, is probably the first company to have offered work placement solutions to institutions in Europe. However, it is unclear if it offered work placement solutions at its inception.
At first, work placement systems were somewhat an electronic version of the bulletin board with coop and internship placement postings. Some solutions included the matching component with a ranking system in place. We had to wait for the early 2010s to see a massive expansion in this product category. As of 2022, ListedTech tracks twenty products in this product category.
The work placement category is still growing. Even though we have 2,500 implementations in our database, we consider our data to be preliminary. Within our dataset, the market leaders are Handshake Students, CSM by Symplicity and ACEMAPP Education. Please note that this preliminary data represent implementations in higher education institutions worldwide.
We are in the final phase of releasing our data. Before doing so, we always validate our information with a company that works in the field. If you would like to help, send us an email.