International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

Top 7 career moves after graduation

Posted 10 November 2015
Top graduate careers

While a lucky few will have already worked out their next steps, for the majority of people, graduation day is only the beginning of a long process of working out what to do. Making the right choice can seem daunting and difficult, so here is a list of some of the most popular industries among recent graduates.

1. IT and technology

The IT and technology field is among the top industries recruiting graduate talent. Start-ups are often keen to stake a claim on graduates straight out of university and more established firms are following suit. Graduates don’t even need to be tech experts to apply, as the IT sector also particularly values business and arts graduates.

2. Law

Law conversion degrees allow graduates from any discipline to retrain as solicitors. During the first year, candidates apply for training contracts with law firms – and then spend the remainder of the course as trainee solicitors. Law conversion can also be a great route into other roles that require legal expertise, including in-house legal roles or human resources.

3. Finance

Unsurprisingly, students graduating from UK universities flock to London – the world’s leading financial services hub – eager to secure roles in the financial sector. Finance is a great industry if you’re looking for an international career. While an economics degree can help candidates secure some roles, it isn’t essential. There’s more to finance than just banking, too. Accountancy and insurance firms are also popular choices with graduates.

4. Retail

Large retailers offer a wide range of opportunities for ambitious graduates, including roles in marketing, product buying and human resources among the popular choices. On the digital side, retailers now also need expertise in user experience, web development, social media engagement and accounting.

5. Engineering

Engineering firms look out for the top talent – and graduates with engineering degrees are always in high demand. Graduates looking for a slightly different working environment might also consider engineering roles within architectural firms or local government and town planning departments.

6. Business management

For those with their heart set on a MBA, a career in business management is the ideal route. Many companies offer graduate recruitment schemes aimed at preparing graduates for management roles and providing the experience they need to progress onto a MBA and beyond.

7. Marketing and PR

Marketing and PR roles offer plenty of opportunities for graduates with strong communication and creative skills. They are also ideal for people who want to gain expertise across a number of different industries, as it’s easy to gain transferable skills that can be used to perform roles in a number of different sectors.

One of the best career moves any graduate can make is to strengthen their network. Keeping in touch with former classmates, creating and maintaining a profile on LinkedIn and using it to upload work samples and obtain recommendations is a great way for graduates to increase their appeal and attract recruiters and human resources professionals.

If you’re really unsure about what to do next, you might want to take a look at the Graduate Prospects website, which is part of the Higher Education Careers Service Unit in the UK. They specialise in providing career advice and job and course opportunities to students and graduates.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with being unsure about which direction you want your career to take. Understanding your options can help you make a decision.