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Britain Needs YOU! The Top 10 Sectors With Graduate Job Vacancies

3rd June 2014 Posted by: Ruth Wood

EVEN after a recession many UK firms are struggling to fill graduate job vacancies in some fields, according to a new survey. A poll by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) found that almost nine out of 10 of its members had unfilled job vacancies - mostly graduate positions. Here are the 10 sectors in highest demand - and they also happen to be the most popular with international students:

1. Information technology
 

Just over a quarter of the companies surveyed had graduate job vacancies in the IT sector.  The UK is one of the world's largest information technology markets, worth £58 billion annually. About one million software companies operate in the UK, including MIcrosoft, IBM and HP and the UK develops software for many applications and international companies provide funding for research and development (R&D). 

In particular high demand are software developers, systems engineers and shader writers within the film, television and video games industry.

Where can I study?
Almost all higher education institutions in the UK offer IT degrees but some of the highest-ranked places to study are the universities of Cambridge, Oxford Edinburgh, Imperial College London, University College London, Manchester, Kings College London and London School of Economics and Political Science, according to the latest QS rankings.

Find out more: See our Computing and IT section

 

2. Electrical/ electronic engineering 
 

Without the electronic engineering that underpins our energy, telecommunications and healthcare systems, modern life would grind to a halt. In the UK, the sector employs some 850,000 people, contributes more than 5% of the nation's GDP and is a major area of growth.

Just under a quarter (23%) of companies that took part in the AGR survey had graduate job vacancies in this sector. In particular high demand are electrical engineers in the oil and gas industry, and power system, control and protection engineers in the electricity transmission and distribution industry.

Where can I study?  Pretty much anywhere in the UK. The top-ranked places to study are the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London, Manchester, University College London and Edinburgh, according to the latest QS rankings.

Find out more: Visit our Engineering section

  
3. General management

Almost one in five graduate recruitment companies surveyed said they had graduate job vacancies in general management. There are several routes into managerial roles, not all of which require a business degree or even a degree although postgraduate qualifications such as the MBA can further your career. Employers value work experience highly and are looking for people who can work under pressure, be creative, communicate well, work collaboratively, solve problems and demonstrate motivation and leadership. 

Where can I study? The best business schools in the UK for MBAs are London Business School, Said Business School (Oxford), Judge Business School (Cambridge), Imperial College Business School, Cranfield School of Management, Warwich Business School and Manchester Business School, according to the latest QS rankings.

Find out more: Read more stories in our Business & Management section

 

4. Consulting 

 

Consultants provide objective and external analysis and advice for organisations in a particular specialist area such as management, information technology, human resources. The consulting industry in the UK is worth around £8.5billion and employs more than 80,000 people. The most common career path for graduates is to get recruited onto a training scheme with one of the big consultancy firms -  Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, PWC or Accenture. 

Expect to work long hours, under pressure to tight deadlines. But the rewards can be great; a junior consultant can expect a starting salary of betwen £25,000 to £30,000, rising to £50,000 after a few years' experience.

Where can I study? Where and what you study is less important than your overall academic excellence, good attitude and practical intelligence. 

Find out more: Visit our Business & Management section 

 

5. Mechanical engineering 

The Mechanical Engineering Industry is a very wide and diverse sector. It mainly covers machinery and equipment, machinery for the production and use of mechanical power, except aircraft, vehicle and cycle engines, agricultural and forestry machinery, machine tools and other special purpose machinery.

Where can I study? The highest-ranked places in the UK to study mechanical, aeronautical or manufacturing engineering are the universities of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Oxford, Cranfield, Manchester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool, Southampton, Warwick, University College London, Bath and Birmingham.

Find out more: See more stories in our Engineering section

 

6. Manufacturing engineering 
 

Decades of decline in UK manufacturing have seen huge job losses in the shipbuilding, glass and steel industries. But the sector suddenly surged in 2014 and is beating all expectations with UK firms currently adding manufacturing jobs at the rate of 10,000 a month. More than one in 10 employers who took part in the AGR survey said they had vacancies in this field.

Manufacturing engineering is a broad discipline which deals with research, design and development of new products, systems, processes, machines, tools and equipment. 

Where can I study? The highest-ranked places in the UK to study mechanical, aeronautical or manufacturing engineering are the universities of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Oxford, Cranfield, Manchester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Sheffield, Bristol, Liverpool, Southampton, Warwick, University College London, Bath and Birmingham.

Find out more: See more stories in our Engineering section

 

7 Civil engineering 
 

Civil engineering occupations in high demand in the UK include petroleum, geomechanics, mining and coal, rock mechanics, wells, tunnelling, drilling, reservoir, offshore and subsea and process safety engineers. More than one in 10 of the companies surveyed by the AGR had vacancies in this sector. 

Where can I study? The highest-ranked places to study civil and structural engineering in the UK are the universities of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Oxford, Loughborough, Manchester, Sheffield, University College London, Bristol, Cardiff, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Salford, Southampton and Strathclyde.

 

8. Accountancy 
 

Accountancy is repeatedly voted one of the very best sectors to work in, with attractive salaries even outside London and good job security even in a recession. Yet one in 10 companies surveyed by the AGR said they had vacancies for accountancy graduates. The 'big four' accountancy firms Deloitte LLP, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC, are the largest graduate business employers:

Where can I study? The highest-ranked places to study accounting and finance in the UK are the universities of Oxford, London School of Economics, Cambridge, London Business School, Manchester, Warwick, Imperial College London, Nottingham, Lancaster, Edinburgh, Cardiff, City University London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Strathclyde. 

Find out more: See our Business section

 

9. Legal work 

The legal sector is becoming increasingly competitive, yet one in 10 graduate recruitment companies in the survey said they had vacancies in this field. One third of the world’s population, including the US, India, Pakistan and Malaysia, have legal systems that originated in English common law.
Four of the world’s top 10 law firms, based on the number of lawyers employed, are headquartered in the UK. These are multinational firms with global career opportunities. For example, Clifford Chance, has offices in 25 countries and 72 per cent of its lawyers are employed outside the UK.
In the UK there are nearly 90,000 solicitors working in private practices and almost 15,000 working in commercial or industrial organisations with a further 4,500 working local government and 2,000 for the Crown Prosecution Service (the courts).

Where can I study? - You don't have to study law to become a lawyer in the UK as long as you take a law conversion course and further training. However, if you do decide to do a law degree, the top-ranked places to study law are the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, London School of Economics, University College London, King's College London, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Warwick, Bristol, Durham, Queen Mary, Queen's University of Belfast, Manchester, Leeds and Aberdeen, according to the latest QS rankings. See also our guide to studying law in the UK

FInd out more: Visit our Law section

 

10. Sales 


With starting salaries as high as £24,000, with commission and perks on top, it's no wonder sales are becoming an increasingly popular career choice for graduates. Sales are at the heart of every business: whether it produces a tangible product such as wine or phone or offers a service such as tree surgery or advertising. Unlike most workers, sales professionals usually have the chance to earn extra money in commission if they hit certain targets, making this an ideal field for the highly motivated 

Retail sales in the UK have been growing steadily this year, although the food and drink sector is growing more slowly.

Where can I study? Anywhere and anything. You don't need a degree to become a salesperson although the extra skills you acquire at university may help you climb the career ladder faster, into managerial roles for example.

Find out more: Visit our business pages 

 

 

Photography :Electronic engineering by Megware, Accenture Consulting at a jobs fair by Job Meeting, Concorde by Eduard Marmet, the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland by Sean McCLean, Monopoly board by Images Money, luxury villa by Lucas Fox Barcelona.


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