Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: employers

Graduate Fair Blog Series: Careers in the IT and Technology Sector

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📥  Advice, Career Choice, Careers Fairs, Careers Resources, Graduate Jobs, Subject Related Careers, Tips & Hints


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This blog entry is a part of the Graduate Fair Blog Series introducing sectors and industries which will be present at the University of Bath Graduate Fair, Tuesday 25th April. Please go here for more information about the fair and the employers present.

The Sector

The IT & technology sector is thriving as never before. Employers are desperate for high-skilled graduates, often from any discipline, as the demand for skilled workers do not match the amount of work available. Meanwhile, the Experis Tech Cities Job Watch report for the second quarter of 2016 notes that the skills shortage covers five main disciplines: IT security, cloud computing, mobile, big data and web development. Even though a degree in Computer Science will be an advantage and some jobs do require a degree, some organisations will have a preference for those who studied a STEM subject (that is, science, maths, technology or engineering). Other jobs require only an interest and understanding of IT and technology and you will learn the necessary skills on the job. Problem-solving, being good at collaboration with colleagues and communication are key skills needed.

The Careers

With an interest in IT and technology or a computer science degree you have a wealth of different careers on your fingertips. With an additional interest in business and technology, you may thrive as a consultant or work as an analyst in the financial industry. On the other hand, maybe you will thrive more as a games developer or a web developer? There are also many jobs where a computer science degree or an understanding of IT and technology is useful, such as becoming a teacher or a social media manager.

Look at Prospects for a closer look on different job roles within IT & Technology.

The Employers

Common employers are IT consultancies or IT providers but you can get jobs in pretty much all sectors including healthcare, defence, agriculture, public sector and more, as everywhere needs an IT and technology specialist. There are many opportunities in major companies and SMEs (smaller to medium enterprises), however be aware that there are also many start up tech companies which may require your skills.

There are  several employers at out Graduate Fair with roles within IT and technology, some require a computer science or STEM degree, others are looking for students from any degree disciplines, please check the programme which will be available from early April. Employers include: Sword Apak, Data Interconnect, Bath Spa University, Office for National Statistics, Global Kubrick Group, Rise Technical Recruitment, Global, Thought Provoking Consulting, The Phoenix Partnership and more. Check here for further information about these employers.

Getting work experience and qualifications in these areas - whether it be learning specific programming languages or doing a summer internship or placement - will put you in prime position to start you career in the sector.

Interested to read more?

If you are still interested here are some good articles for you to learn more:

The benefits of working in information technology

Getting a graduate job in IT and technology - the basics

Overview of the IT sector in the UK



Researching employers using library databases

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📥  Careers Resources, Commercial Awareness, Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight, Tips & Hints, Uncategorized

Researching employers using library databases

I recently went along to a careers skills session delivered by Management Librarian Helen Rhodes. The aim of the session was to look at some useful tools to help students find business and industry information through several useful databases which are found through the library website. Even though I had some basic knowledge about the databases before, I was surprised about the extensive and detailed information you could find on employers, including developments and issues, competitors, tweet mentions and news, but also covering sector and industry information, country profiles and lifestyle analyses. At the end you can usually print out a detailed summary as a PDF report! The information you find can absolutely give you an advantage in that graduate interview and your commercial awareness will increase immensely, which is exactly the skill employers say graduates lack the most!

So here is a summary of some useful databases, what they can do and where you can find them. Be aware that there are many different usages of each database and I am just covering a few examples below.

All of these databases and more can be found on our library website.


Hoovers is a database of 84 million companies and industries. It offers financial and executive details plus a description of activities and competitors of public, private, and government-run enterprises.  By using the search engine on top of the page you search by companies, people and also industries. For example, a quick search for “wind power generation” under industries gave me detailed information about the top companies within the industry, the business challenges and key insights into industry facts and developments. You can also search industries by location. A great tool!


Marketline has 31000 detailed company profiles, SWOT analyses and industry reports with PESTLE analyses. This is another very useful database, which is useful for researching companies but also for researching a specific industry or sector. For example a search for chocolate confectionary under industry gave me detailed industry reports from all around the world regarding the chocolate confectionary industry!  A detailed pdf report including graphs and tables was available within seconds as well.


Passport also has many company profiles and industry reports, however with passport you can get detailed reports across 80 countries including country reports, market share information and consumer trends and lifestyle analysis. If you are thinking of applying to work in another country, Passport is an invaluable tool for you.


Nexis provides access to the latest business news and data. It features profiles of 46 million global companies and 3 million UK companies. It includes UK national newspapers and trade press, plus hundreds of newspapers and magazines published worldwide.  A great resource before that very important interview!

Helen Rhodes offers regular workshops on how to use these databases effectively, both through Faculty and through Careers. Have a look at MyFuture in the new year for workshops and talks arranged in the Spring term.

The Careers Service has an excellent help guide on researching employers:



How LinkedIn can help you find employers


📥  Labour Market Intelligence, Sector Insight, Social Media, Tips & Hints


We are going to shamelessly link to the University of Leeds Careers Centre Blog as they have done an excellent job, through three blog posts, in writing about how you can use LinkedIn to find relevant employers. Thank you Team Leeds!

"Whether you’re looking for experience, placements or a graduate job, it can sometimes be hard to identify potential relevant employers.  This is particularly so if you’re looking outside of the large multi-national organisations. Opportunities with other types of employers, or in other sectors, may not be as widely advertised, and many people actually find jobs and experience by pro-actively approaching employers of interest on a speculative basis. In this 3-part mini series, we’ll show you 3 easy ways you can leverage LinkedIn to identify potential employers of interest."

3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 1 - outlines how the advanced people search function can help you identify potential employers.

3 ways LinkedIn can help you find relevant employers: Part 2 - outlines how you can use the company search feature to identify employers by location and sector.

3 ways LinkedIn can help you find potential employers: Part 3 - shows how you can use two features of LinkedIn to help you find similar organisations to those you have already discovered.



Get ready for International Careers Week!

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📥  Career Development, Event, International Students, Networking, Uncategorized

Next week sees the return of our annual internationally-themed week of events. We have tried to have a little bit of something for everyone so do have a look at our events for that week to see what takes your fancy!

The week kicks off with Mars China coming in to talk about their management leadership opportunities for Chinese students wanting to return home after their studies.

We then focus on Japan, with DISCO International talking about opportunities for Japanese bilinguals - as well as PwC talking specifically about their opportunities for international students. With UK recruitment currently tightening up for international students, this is a great opportunity to meet a company who embraces internationalism. Also that day we host Withers & Rogers talking about the future of global organisations and how IP Offerings and protection are a key way to enhance that.

Thursday brings the Fulbright Commission here, offering their annual tips session on Postgraduate Study in the USA. We know that many of you are interested in this, so do come in and speak to the experts!

Added to all these external presentations, our Careers Service experts are offering a programme of workshops to help students both home and international prepare themselves for an international career. There are two assessment centre group exercise sessions - it's peak season for assessment days just now so book your slot soon. We also have repeat sessions of our popular workshops for international students looking at covering letters and also interview skills. If you are finding these hard to master then come along and learn how to demystify them and feel more in control of your approach.

You may have heard us talk about networking and advise you to develop and make best use of your LinkedIn profile. If you know you should but aren't sure how, book onto our workshop on Wednesday afternoon which will give you tips and strategies to boost your profile and show you how to extend your reach by leveraging the Bath Connection.

Finally, we are delighted to say that this year we are working with Alumni Relations who are offering one of their highly successful Get Connected sessions right here on campus on Thursday evening. It also has an international focus and the experts are all either international alumni or alumni who have worked overseas during their careers. Added to this they are launching a Get Connected webinar on Friday, for those of you who'd like the chance to ask your questions remotely.

Hopefully this will have whetted your appetite but do remember, if you'd rather just come in and ask one of our Advisers your questions, we are available every day for 1:1 appointments - we're looking forward to seeing you!


The hard truth about soft skills

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📥  Advice, Graduate Jobs, Tips & Hints

Sometimes it seems as though the list of skills and attributes that employers want in their potential employees is getting longer and harder to attain. And, worst of all, it's full of unmeasurable, intangible 'soft skills'. Things like 'interpersonal skills', 'communication', 'team working' and the like.

You may also be sick of reading that the graduates of today are woefully lacking in skills and it is up to today's universities to help students develop such skills. And you have probably been to at least one careers  or placement-related talk where the importance of developing such skills has been mentioned.

I'm sure you get really fed up reading these articles....but think about it. For so many articles to be published along these lines, employers must be seeing something (or not seeing it, maybe).

Not just 'tell them about it'

We Careers Advisers know (we have seen your CVs and spoken to many of you) that you put a lot of effort into accumulating these skills. You play team sports, volunteer, take on leadership roles in societies - so what is going wrong here?

It is easy to fall into the way of thinking that it is your degree that is most important, and certainly employers do highly value your degrees. But when everyone who applies has a 2:1 and 320 UCAS points (becasue that is where the employer has set the bar) then it is only logical to assume that it is the 'extras' that are going to make the difference.

Yes, yes, yes, you may be thinking. We know that's the reason why we have to write the answers to those really annoying and tortuous questions on application forms. And we've done the activity, so we just need to tell them about it and that's the skill demonstrated.

Evidently something is missing in many students' answers, though, for employers to say they just can't see the skill demonstrated clearly enough.

How does it feel?

Here is a little trick that may help make this easier. Of course, you should still use your STAR*, or CAR*, or whichever acronym works for you as a means of evidencing your soft skills (more on that later). But before you do that, take a minute to think about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that skill, really well demonstrated.

Let's take teamwork as an example. That's one of the skills we find students have a hard time demonstrating well. Leaving aside the overuse of 'we' when they need to be talking about 'I', there is an emphasis on process rather than rationale.

So, how do you know when you have been in a team that works really well? Or seen a team working well? Maybe you saw lots of supportive feedback on performance, or good listening to everyone's input, or letting everyone know what the progress towards the task is. Did that make you feel valued? That your contribution was important?

Then, think about a team experience you have observed or participated in that was not good teamwork. Possibly you saw, or heard, only one person's voice? No idea whether performances were as expected, or not? Tasks being handed out with no attention paid to who might be best at them, or prefer to do them? Then think about how that team felt.

Now, back to the employers' questions. If, in your answer, you only talk about the bare bones of the process and give no 'colour', an employer will not know anything about your approach to teamwork and can't guess at whether you show good or poor teamwork behaviours. So it is very important to tell them!

Include some R&R

I'd like to emphasise the importance of the R (&R) at the end of the STAR/CAR formula - Results (and Reflection). So, when crafting your evidence, reflect on what you learned about, say, the best way to distribute tasks, or to ensure a harmonious team performance. That way, an employer will be sure to see that you have considered the importance of teamwork and know how you will go about ensuring it in your teams in the future.

Run it past us

If you'd like to be certain your answers are hitting the spot, why not book a Quick Query appointment so a Careers Adviser can give you some constructive feedback?


* STAR: Situation - Task - Action - Result; CAR: Context - Action - Result. Common methods for answering competency/behaviour questions - for more detail see our Application, CV and cover letter guide.