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Graduate Jobs in the UK – a breakdown

Published: Tuesday 16th March 2021

Graduate jobs in the UK remain one of the most popular types of job search for people looking for work. Enrolling on a graduate scheme can be a great way to enter a business and get practical work experience. However, the process can be lengthy, complicated and competitive, with graduate positions in high demand in many different sectors. We look at some of the biggest issues facing job seekers looking for graduate work. This includes which sectors are hiring in the biggest UK cities, such as graduate jobs in Manchester, and tips on improving your chances of success.

Four graduates throw their caps in the air to highlight graduate jobs in the UK

Graduate jobs in the UK – the first step is yours

The first thing you need to do is decide which type of graduate course you want. This may seem obvious, but there are many different factors you must consider. For example, courses can last anywhere from six months to three years. Furthermore, many companies will require you to remain with them for a set period after the scheme ends. Whilst this varies, it can be anything up to five years. You must also consider include what type of company and sector you want to work in, as well as location, salary, training and culture.

Once you have decided on a company and sector, you then to read up on these. Graduate schemes can be very competitive. This is especially true for sectors such as IT and finance, as well as with large, multi-national companies. Therefore, you need to use as many different sources to find as much information as possible so that you stand out. This can include social media links and past employee testimonials, as well as industry-specific publications and company reports.

Male manager helps female employee to highlight graduate jobs in the UK.

Valuable on-the-job training

Positions such as IT graduate jobs are popular because they provide valuable skills and experience. Courses often feature extensive training, including group and one-to-one sessions, in areas such as communication and management. You may be working closely with a mentor or as part of a larger team of graduates. You may also be given the chance to study for further qualifications whilst on a scheme. This can include industry-recognised courses or a masters’ degree. Programs such as business graduate schemes are often considered the best way to accelerate a career in a specific industry or company. There are many different reasons for this.

Good earning potential

We all want to be paid more of course. Yet for most graduates, simply finding a suitable position is the highest priority. However, schemes for graduates offer a great opportunity to work in an area you want and still earn a strong salary. Many positions, such as graduate jobs in London with large companies can offer excellent wages. Average salaries for graduate jobs fall around £25,000. However, this can rise in certain sectors and in major UK cities. Many schemes will also offer other benefits to entice quality candidates. This can be anything from company cars and gym memberships to private pensions, bonuses and remote-working opportunities.

Alarm clock with blue background to highlight the long-term benefits of graduate jobs in the UK.

Job for life?

Graduate schemes do not provide a job for life. Would you expect them to, or even want it? However, they do offer excellent short-term security and can improve your long-term employment. Most courses last for at least 12-months. Therefore, whilst on the course, provided you are not kicked off, you will have a position for at least that time. This can be a positive, with some course lasting three years. Furthermore, if you successfully complete the scheme you will likely be offered a permanent role.

However, a less talked about aspect of graduate jobs in the UK is that it is possible to fail. Many schemes are demanding, with employers requiring you to pass regular exams and evaluations. You will be constantly monitored and be expected to act as a model employee during this period. So, what happens if you are not given a permanent position at the end of a scheme? Well, it is not the end of the world. You will have received extensive training and experience that will allow you to seek positions you previously would not have qualified for. The experience is also likely to give you a much clearer picture of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as the type of role and employer you want. Therefore, whether you qualify or not, graduate programs can provide you with many different short-term and long-term benefits.

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