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Career advice for Graduates in the UK to Find a Job

Once you get through the door of professional education, you are finally prepared to join the practical world. Leaving your student life behind is a hard transition, but one that we all have to make at one point or another. If you too are ready to enter the real world after studying in the UK, you may be wondering what career options are available for you.

For international students, there are plenty of options to find work in the country and extend their stay. Let us help you explore your work options post-study in the UK.

A Glance at the Graduate Market

Simply put, job prospects in the UK are probably the best across the European continent as it is the fastest growing economy therein. Since 2007, the job market has been constantly growing and becoming stronger as the service sector creates openings as fast as it possibly can.

By the end of 2013, the prospects of medical students seemed the brightest at 93-95%. Up next were Media and Information Studies at 93%, Agricultural Studies and Technology at 92%, Architecture and Business Finance at 90%. In fact, a BBC report claimed that students of social science are most likely to find relevant employment in senior or lateral managerial roles within three months of graduation.

The growth in the employment sector keeps growing in these fields, and in IT fields such as Software Engineering and Computer Science—especially since they have the most potential for exports.

Moreover, the creative industries are fast-growing and make up to 5.6% of the total workforce in the UK. This includes subjects like music, film, television, writing, sound engineering, etc. In short, if you graduate from the UK, your options are pretty much open.

Can an International Student Stay in the UK?

As long as the EU was in effect, students from the Union did not need a visa to pursue employment in the UK or to stay there as long as they wished. However, things have gotten a bit more complicated ever since Brexit. International students would need to extend their visa or apply for a work visa in the UK (if they have already been offered employment while on student visa). You may even need to meet specific requirements or investments to get through.

Generally, there are two types of work visas: Tier 1 and Tier 2. Both of these types have two subcategories depending on your particular circumstances. Most students who get offered a job before their visa expires will need to go for the Tier 2 General visa. If you want to be eligible for Tier 1, you will have to show outstanding skills in entrepreneurship or a substantial intention to make an investment in the country. They may also be considered if they get endorsed by an accredited body for their remarkable ability in a particular area of research.

Each kind of visa has a very specific list of requirements, fees, and required documents, allowed duration of stay, and processing times. You can have a look at them at the UK Immigration websites for complete details.

Depending on what kind of study program you were enrolled in, you will get a specific time frame in which to apply to jobs in the UK. For instance, students who study for one year get four months to find well-paying work after their graduation.

When should you start applying for graduate jobs?

The application process in the UK usually begins in September of your final year, with start dates for the successful candidates being the following August/September. Be aware that graduate schemes have a lengthy application process with interviews and assessments being undertaken in the new year.

Finding a Job

Of course, the continent is large with thousands, if not millions, of job openings across every sector. For a foreign national, it can be troubling to look for work that is perfect for them but that also satisfies the requirements for a work visa. You should begin looking for jobs before your final year is over by sourcing some information about the current state of things in the country. Have a thorough look at the sector you are particularly interested in. This way, you will also get to know about the key players in the field and the potential highway to the top. You can have a look at the RBA site for industry reports and at the UK National Statistics site for an overview of the labor market.

Most people search online for jobs, which is probably also your best bet. You can get access to vacancies across the continent just with a few clicks. Usually, these job recruitment websites are free of charge. They usually don’t ask to pay unless you have very special requirements. For instant connections, have a look at Job Monster,, and TotalJobs. Simply put in your industry name and wait a few seconds until all the jobs related to the field pop up.

Big companies sometimes advertise vacancies directly on their webpage, so have a look at some of the big names in the area. Another great way to find jobs is parsing newspapers and print magazines.

Options Offered by the University

In most cases, the host university has a career center that can help students get in touch with prospective employers in their industry. They may also hold job fairs at the end of the semester for you to explore your options and find something worth your while.

Some universities have a dedicated student services office to take care of international students by offering them advice, support, and assistance in approaching companies and employers.

Whenever you begin your job search, keep your university in the loop so they can have your back if things go awry. With them, you can also get information on current market trends and respectable salaries. Sometimes universities also help you improve your CV and provide you with interview tips that can take you one step forward in your job search!

Life after university doesn’t seem so murky now, does it? You can browse a number of courses in the UK that are worth your while. Start planning now!

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