Nowadays, the issue of professional integration is of the utmost importance. There was a time when higher education graduates had relatively little difficulty entering the professional sphere after five years of study, regardless of their area of specialisation or the type of school they attended. Now tensions in the job market, the boundaries to entering this new sphere presented by certain disciplines and training programmes, and the extension of internships and later fixed-term contracts make this key moment in a student's life all the more critical.
The statistics regarding our students entering the world of work, the levels of responsibility and pay that they achieve, and the average time they spend looking for employment have indicated renowned levels of performance for many years now. The figures certainly speak for themselves, but they do not explain everything. This success is first and foremost an obligation that we fully recognise: helping the young people who have chosen our schools to maximise their chances of professional integration. This reflects our close ties with the world of business and our understanding of companies’ expectations. We have never had any qualms about those who demonstrate an enterprising spirit and we feel that we are in tune with companies' aspirations since they share our values of respect, attentiveness, responsibility and commitment. With regards to internships, jobs and work experience, the business world has an interest in our training methods since it is they who will be providing the jobs of the future.
We are renowned for producing remarkable results. There is no need for false modesty or pretension here; indeed, the facts and statistics speak louder than any words ever could. This situation is the result of the comprehensive approach that drives IONIS Education Group and which can be summarised in three principles.
Professional integration is our responsibility. It is part of the 'moral contract' that we enter into with our students, as future graduates, and their families. We are not there to 'place' them but rather to shape them as a person, not only in terms of their skills and knowledge but also with regards to their character and personality. We have a duty to give them the greatest possible chance of succeeding at this stage, and it is up to them to do the rest.
A nation's wealth is built on its companies, as the ultimate creators of jobs and hotbeds of innovative development. Beyond the often legitimate criticisms and concerns, we believe in an approach based on the vital need to be enterprising, to innovate and to act. Business is not the raison d’être behind our teaching methods, but how do you design an effective training programme if you do not develop an appreciation of your future? From internships, immersion weeks, meetings with professionals, conferences, business projects and case studies to business-related games... we do everything we can to ensure that our students do not find themselves faced with the usual 'you don't have enough experience' routine upon completion of their studies. Professional integration scores are encouraging us now more than ever to persevere with our choices.
This begins from the very first day of study and extends long beyond the last. The teaching methods used enable the student to familiarise themselves with every aspect of company life. Internships are merely the visible component of this approach, which places great importance on the project aspect, on teamwork and on the ability to adapt to difficulties and to bounce back. At the end of their studies, students are no longer afraid of entering this new world, which they have become familiar with and learnt to understand and accurately evaluate, with
no tough decisions or hesitation.
Each of the schools in the IONIS Group has a responsibility to encourage the professional integration of its students. Our responsibility is both inevitable and unquestionable. We have been assuming this responsibility for over 30 years now because we cannot confine ourselves to passively observing a result that depends largely on the quality of our teaching and the good we do with regards to expertise. We have an interest in the success of the young people who have placed their faith in us and we have a duty to help them, to support them, and potentially to supervise them in their research.
This is neither a matter of shame nor a way of circumventing the rules of precedence, as far as we are concerned. Before recruiting a graduate a company is first and foremost selecting an individual, a personality. All of the students in our Group are given opportunities to forge connections with companies, teachers, former students, working professionals and colleagues throughout their courses. They can also extend their networks of relationships using social networks, engage with 'pros', get involved with graduate associations and benefit from the support provided by their school's business relations department, meaning that they are never alone when they reach the delicate stage of securing their first job.
Preparing students to enter the world of business is a vital part of the work of the schools in the IONIS Group. The merging of these two spheres involves a great variety of special relationships that IONIS Education Group and its schools endeavour to establish with major French and international companies, relationships that are intended to reflect the personality of the school in question.
With the exception of the periods of crisis that have had an immediate impact on recruitment levels among recent graduates, the schools in the IONIS Group have achieved particularly high levels of integration over the past 10 years. Between 6 and 10 weeks after completing their studies, and sometimes even before the end of their course, nearly 80% of business school students find their first job, as is the case with virtually all year groups graduating from schools of engineering and expertise, whilst others start their own businesses. The scores obtained by students attending our short-course training and work-study programmes also significantly exceed all indicators in the sectors concerned..
Students of the schools in the IONIS Group continually switch between theory and application, current teaching methods and actively working to improve their skills and expertise right throughout their courses. This academic model certainly pays dividends, with students ready to hit the ground running at the end of their courses and demonstrating a great ability to adapt from the moment they begin their working lives. Companies understand the added value that this type of teaching and this open-mindedness represent and recruit students directly from within our schools, often even before they have completed their studies.