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Graduate Fair Spring Mobile

Graduate Fair Spring

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Discover how the graduate labour market works and the different types of graduate jobs available.

Graduate schemes

A graduate scheme is a structured programme that combines work with training, typically lasting one-two years. Deadlines are early, usually from September – November of the previous year.

Competition is fierce. Typically there are many stages in the recruitment process, including psychometric tests, assessment centres and several rounds of interviews.

Academic entry requirements for degrees result and UCAS points tend to be strict (and
high). 

Keep in mind these schemes tend to only exist in larger organisations and only in certain industries e.g. finance, consultancy and retail.

Entry level jobs

A graduate job is any role where a degree is required, for example, a Marketing Officer, a Project Manager or a Graduate Analyst. The employer might require a particular degree subject or a graduate from any discipline.

Entry-level jobs were historically positions where previous experience was not required, making them ideal for new graduates. Example job titles might include HR Assistant, Trainee Buyer or Account Executive. However, for both graduate and entry-level jobs, employers will now expect candidates to have developed their skills in a work environment, whether this is through part-time work, internships or volunteering.
 

Internships and temporary work

Don’t discount short term roles as a way to get your foot in the door. Graduate internships and temping (a series of temporary jobs in different organisations through an agency) are excellent ways of gaining skills and experience.

Use this experience to grow your network of valuable network of industry contacts, which could be the stepping stone to other opportunities or a permanent job. If you're not sure which direction you want to take after your studies, this could be a good option.
 

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

It might sound obvious, but opportunities do not just exist in big companies.

Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2018 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs) (FSB, 2018).

This means a large number of opportunities are available in smaller organisations. 

SMEs cover all industries and include anything from a local high street law firm to a niche media or publishing company, to a successful technology start-up, offering a diverse range of opportunities for
graduates.

While the big names may be attractive, think carefully about which types of company might offer the best experience.