Top 20 Universities for Careers Support

Freddie Larkins on 18 February 2019
Top 20 Universities for Careers Support

Using reviews left by thousands of Student Hut users on their university's Careers Service, we've ranked the Top 20 Universities for Careers Support.

Now more than ever, universities have a responsibility to prepare students for graduate employment. While graduates can expect to earn an average of £7,308 more than their non-graduate counterparts, this varies greatly across subjects1. The cost of a degree-level education is at an all-time high and students rightfully expect a return on investment in the form of increased employability.

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of the top 20 universities for careers support, as voted by thousands of students on Student Hut. These universities provide the best employability support for students during their degrees and beyond:

1. Imperial College London

The best university in the UK for careers support is Imperial College London. The Careers Service provides online resources guiding students through CV and cover letter writing, psychometric tests, interviews and assessment centres. The JobsLive portal allows students to book 1-1 consultations with careers advisers and view job/placement vacancies.

92.6% of ICL graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation2.

2. Loughborough University

Loughborough students enjoy an extensive network of careers support both during and after their degrees. The Careers Service offers a professional development programme, Personal Best, which is accessible via the myLboro app. Personal Best encourages students to build a personal record of activities and experiences for use in future job applications, set personal development goals and access relevant careers resources.

94% of Loughborough graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

3. The University of Cambridge

The Careers Service at Cambridge comprises of separate teams for postdoctoral and undergraduate careers. Every student receives a printed Cambridge Careers Guide at the start of winter term each year, sent straight to their college.

Cambridge’s GradLink database gives students and graduates email access to a network of (mostly) Cambridge graduates who are available to offer insight, inspiration and career-related advice. This is immensely beneficial for Cambridge students wishing to gain insight into the world of work.

94.6% of Cambridge graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

4. Newcastle University

Newcastle’s Careers Service provides support to everyone from part-time job seekers, placement students or students seeking grad jobs. The Vacancies Online resource lists hundreds of opportunities for Newcastle students, filtered by vacancy-type, sector and location.

The Careers Service also nurtures students attempting to set up their own business through its START UP programme. START UP provides support for up to 3 years after graduation; the scheme assists 179 businesses with a combined annual turnover of almost £27m.

95.3% of Newcastle graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

5. Brunel University London

The Professional Development Centre (PDC) at Brunel helps students source placements and grad jobs, as well as part-time work on campus through the JobShop centre.

Students are encouraged to turn extra-curricular activities into employability skills through the Brunel+ Award, which recognises achievement away from the classroom in a number of areas (Global+, Campus+, Wellbeing+ and Professional+). Like Newcastle’s Careers Service, the PDC supports student entrepreneurs through its Innovation Hub scheme.

93.9% of Brunel graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

6. Teesside University

The Careers & Employability team at Teesside offers CV feedback and application form help through flexible 15-minute drop-in sessions and scheduled appointments.

The Teesside Launchpad programme helps students or graduates to set up new business ventures, while the Volun-tees programme helps members of the university to volunteer on projects within the local community, developing valuable employability skills along the way.

92.4% of Teesside graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

7. The University of Chester

As a university spread across multiple campuses, Chester has Careers & Employability centres based on both the Parkgate Road and Warrington Campus. The Chester Difference Award officially recognises extra-curricular activities undertaken by students as valuable professional experience.

Moreover, the Enhance Your Employability (EYE) training offered by the careers centre helps students identify their chosen career path and work on developing a diversified skill set.

95.3% of Chester graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

8. Nottingham Trent Univerity

The NTU Employability Centre sits across three separate campuses: Clifton, Brackenhurst and City. Students can drop in for subject-specific Quick Query sessions (art and design, law and business) or book appointments with careers consultants.

NTU also boasts a specialist co-working and learning space in the centre of Nottingham, the Hive, for students and graduates attempting to set up their own business. Containing hot desks, conference facilities and meeting rooms, the Hive has supported 370 successful start-ups thus far.

95.7% of NTU graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

9. The University of Leeds

Leeds students benefit from two levels of support from the Careers Centre. The in-faculty careers advisers offer careers guidance tailored to the student’s subject of study, while the advisers in the Careers Centre hub provide general support to the entire student body. This includes mock interview practice and drop-in guidance sessions.

If a student wishes to take a 12 work placement but the option is not offered through by their academic department, the placement can be arranged through the Careers Centre.

95.8% of Leeds graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

10. Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt's Careers Service helps students decide on the post-university path which suits them best; be it taking a year to travel, further study or employment.

Penultimate year students can apply to take part in the Career Mentoring Programme, a scheme which allocates industry professionals as mentors to undergraduate students. This gives mentees excellent exposure to industries they plan to enter after graduation.

95.9% of Heriot-Watt graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

11. The University of Strathclyde

Strathclyde graduates are entitled to Careers Service support for up to 5 years after graduation - 2 years longer than most careers services offer. Each of the four academic faculties has a dedicated careers consultant.

Students can use the Strathclyde MyCareers portal to book on to careers events such as employer presentations, assessment centre workshops and careers fairs.

95.8% of Strathclyde graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

12. The University of Exeter

The Career Zone at Exeter offers a fantastic range of schemes, partnerships and awards to help Exeter students gain valuable professional skills.

These include eXfactor - a full-day workshop designed to develop emotional intelligence and decision making - and the Exeter Leaders Award - an employability achievement award available to undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. The latter is available in multiple pre-mapped pathways, designed to equip students with skills for different industries. Pathways include Enterprise, Marketing, Media, Research, Sport and Teaching.

94.8% of Exeter graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

13. The University of Huddersfield

Huddersfield’s Careers Service provides specialist consultation for disabled students and international students as well as home/EU students.

The Huddersfield Employability Fund, meanwhile, provides financial aid for graduates up to a year after graduation. Successful applicants to the fund can use it to help cover travel costs, specialist software (e.g. for freelance media professionals), purchasing appropriate clothing for interviews or attendance on short courses. The Fund underlines Huddersfield’s commitment to social mobility.

95.8% of Huddersfield graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

14. The University of Portsmouth

Portsmouth students can use the Careers Service MyCareer portal to browse part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, graduate jobs, workshops, start-up clinics and more.

The on-campus Graduate Recruitment Consultancy provides bespoke employability services for students, helping them to identify and secure their dream grad jobs. The Consultancy works closely with SMEs in Hampshire and the South Coast to help grads land jobs in local businesses.

96.5% of Portsmouth graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

15. Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth's Careers Service is made up of dedicated careers consultants for subject groups and advisers devoted solely to the Careers Service. The AberWorks scheme allows students to source part-time work on campus - earning while they learn.

The AberForward scheme, meanwhile, lets students and graduates who don’t have a great deal of experience on their CV - or are undecided about their future - gain the requisite professional experience to transition into a graduate role.

95.1% of Aberystwyth graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

16. The University of Lincoln

The stand-out service offered by Lincoln’s Careers & Employability team is the Lincoln Award. Designed to nurture employability skills through extra-curricular activity, the Award is tailored to each subject and students receive support from the team to guide them from start to finish.

Students must complete at least 40 hours of extra-curricular activity (e.g. volunteering), attend skills development sessions and take course-related employability modules and two chosen activities (e.g. first aid). The Award ends in an Assessment Centre Experience by a top grad employer - invaluable practice for when it comes to taking the real thing!

95.8% of Lincoln graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

17. Cardiff Metropolitan University

The Careers Service at Cardiff Metropolitan holds events throughout the year designed to help students increase their employability. The events come in two forms: Explore & Network and Learn & Grown. Students can book on to events, book personal appointments with careers consultants and search grad jobs using the MetHub portal; it is available for 3 years after graduation.

94.8% of Cardiff Metropolitan graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

18. Bangor University

Bangor students can choose from two kinds of Careers Clinics run by the Careers & Employability Service. The CV and Application Quick Check (20 minutes) allows students to get their CVs and job applications reviewed by a careers consultant; the Careers Guidance session (30 minutes) is an in-depth opportunity to discuss future employability plans.

The Bangor Employability Awards helps students to improve long term job prospects by recognising extracurricular achievement, while the B-Enterprising scheme supports student-led businesses.

92.8% of Bangor graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

19. The University of Hertfordshire

The Careers and Recruitment Service at Hertfordshire runs an award-winning Assessment Centre Experience (Best Preparation for Industry ISE Awards 2018) to give students invaluable interview simulation experience for some of the most sought-after graduate roles in the UK.

The ACE is open to second-year students and is open to most academic departments, including Engineering and Technology, Physics and Mathematics, the Business School, Humanities and Computer Science. Careers advisers on the College Lane and de Havilland campuses are also on hand to give in-person CV and application form feedback.

96.1% of Hertfordshire graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

20. The University of Glasgow

Glasgow’s Careers Service facilitates strong connections between current students and alumni through an alumni mentoring scheme. Students can reach out to graduates through The Network, a communications portal exclusively for Glasgow alumni. The Internship Hub supplies internship opportunities to students - over 350 each academic year.

Support is also available to student startups; the careers Service provides insight into legal set up, financial planning, sourcing funding and other challenges facing young businesses.

95.9% of Glasgow graduates are in work and/or full-time study six months after graduation.

Image sources

:

Imperial College, Loughborough University, University of Cambridge, Newcastle University, Brunel University, Teesside University, University of Chester, Nottingham Trent University, University of Leeds, Heriot-Watt University, University of Strathclyde, University of Exeter, University of Huddersfield, University of Portsmouth, Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Bangor University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Glasgow.

Freddie Larkins
Freddie Larkins on 18 February 2019