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Graduate labour market

The UK graduate job market has a high level of flexibility, with up to 50% of graduate vacancies open to applicants from any degree subject.

Typical employment sectors which might recruit from any degree subject include:

  • advertising, marketing and PR
  • business, finance and management consultancy
  • publishing and media
  • sales, retail and buying
  • public sector management training schemes.

Range of degree subjects

Employers may draw recruits from across a range of degree subjects because they:

  • need people for general management roles that do not require subject specific knowledge
  • seek generic graduate attributes such as creativity, analysis, determination, teamwork and communication, rather than specific technical knowledge
  • want access to a wider pool of talent from which to choose their recruits
  • prefer to train graduates in the roles that they need at that point in time.

Skills instead of subject

Many job adverts and vacancy details will be specific about the skills and experience they're looking for, rather than the degree subject.

Convincing an employer of the skills you've gained from your degree will be vital in ensuring success, as will marketing the skills you've developed through work experience and other activities during your time at university.

  • 90%of graduate recruiters identified ‘passion’ and ‘positivity’ in their graduate wish-list, according to Employability Skills Insights from the Career Design Employer Survey

Your degree subject will have served a vital purpose as an interesting and satisfying vehicle for acquiring a range of generic graduate attributes and skills. Find out which employability skills you have – or will have – developed during your degree.

In many of these roles, you are likely to move away from the subject of your degree. This may be a deliberate choice on your part, or you may wish to look for an opportunity where your degree subject can add value to your ability to do the role even though it was not particularly required.

How important is it to you to use your degree (and particularly any postgraduate study) directly in your work? You may find it useful to discuss this with your personal tutor or a careers adviser when making decisions about potential jobs and areas of employment. You can book an appointment with a careers adviser via your Careers Account.

Standing out in a competitive market

Taking ownership of your career journey, coupled with passion and positivity will help you stand out in a competitive graduate market.

By researching options from the first year of their degree, gaining relevant work experience and being able to demonstrate how they can apply their skills and experiences in the workplace, many of our students received offers from top graduate employers even before leaving university.

Find out more

Careers and Employability