Career prospects

In our increasingly knowledge-based economy, employers place significant value on research skills.

Male PG graduand wearing a cap and gown.

There are new opportunities opening up in research and employers increasingly recognise the advanced skills that research graduates bring.

The skills we aim to emphasise include:

  • research methods and skills
  • transferable and professional skills
  • the capacity to work across disciplinary boundaries.

Going places – destinations of Cardiff University graduates 

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education statistics show that 93.8% of our research postgraduates who responded to the survey were in employment or further study during the first six months after graduation (for those graduating between academic years 2011/12 and 2013/2014).

Destinations of our postgraduate research students

Pie chart showing that 88% of postgraduate research graduates found further employment, 3.9% were unemployed, 3.6% were in work and study, 2.3% were involved in 'other' and 2.2% were in further study.
For postgraduate research graduates between academic years 2011/12 and 2013/14.

As a research graduate you could be attractive to employers for your:

  • thorough understanding of your chosen research area
  • ability to familiarise yourself with new and complex issues
  • range of transferable and professional skills
  • questioning and inquiring attitude
  • self-confidence to articulate and defend your ideas and approaches
  • problem-solving skills and determination to find new and better ways to tackle difficulties
  • strong communication, management, team-working and leadership skills.

Top employers of our graduates

  • AkzoNobel
  • BAE Systems
  • Cambridge University
  • Cardiff University
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche
  • General Electric 
  • Genpact
  • Health Board
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • Imperial College
  • Karolinska Institute 
  • King's College London
  • LEO Pharma
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • McKinsey and Company
  • Microsoft
  • Ministry of Defence
  • National Institutes of Health
  • NHS
  • ORC Group
  • Oxford University
  • Royal Navy
  • Telefonica UK Ltd
  • Thompson Reuters
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Helsinki

Professional and career development

The University Graduate College and Careers & Employability offer a range of courses, services and events to help you with your career after your research degree. 

Work placements

Some postgraduate programmes and projects offer the opportunity of paid and unpaid work placements.

Student Enterprise

Student Enterprise offers skills development workshops, events, competitions and support for aspiring entrepreneurs.