Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Tagged: Job market

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


Pictures circling around Pacific Islander woman's head

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



Finding a Job other than a “Graduate Scheme”

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📥  Advice, Applications, Careers Resources, Graduate Jobs, inspire, Networking, Tips & Hints

Finding a Job other than a “Graduate Scheme”



So, you have applied to several graduate schemes but have not been successful or perhaps you have not had the time to apply, or maybe you are not interested in applying to a graduate scheme at all? Well, there are plenty more opportunities for you.

Laura from Careers Services is delivering an excellent talk on “Finding a Job other than a “Graduate Scheme” on Wednesday 15th February 17:15 – 18:05, make sure to book your place through MyFuture!

It is the bigger employers in certain sectors that offer graduate training schemes. Smaller to medium enterprises (SMEs) generally don’t have the time or the money to develop and plan big schemes. In many SMEs you may find that you can develop your skills more broadly and informally than in a big company. Generally, you may be able to gain experience in different roles with different responsibilities in a smaller company.

So what do you do next? Well, one point you have to consider is that smaller companies tend to only recruit when there is actually a role available, they do not think too much of the timings of an academic year! Some smaller companies may not even advertise at all, and just pick from their earlier trainees or perhaps from speculative applications or from networking. What I want to convey is that you may not find the job you want just by perusing job search sites online!

Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Research and find out about potential employers

Find out about companies and organisations out there, think about where you want to work and in what type or organisation you would like to work in. Would you like to work in a small organisation or perhaps would you prefer to work close to home?

  1. Check our Occupational Research section on our website.  This has links to professional bodies, job vacancy sites and other relevant information organised by job sector
  2. Check our Job Hunting by Region section on our website for company directories in all UK regions.
  3. Research job roles on which has over 400 job profiles which include important information about the role, skills needed and also links to job vacancy and professional bodies.
  4. You can also research companies through library databases, see my earlier blog post on how to do this.
  5. Use LinkedIn to identify employers, see earlier blog post on how to do this.
  6. Check MyFuture and look through the Organisations link from the menu bar. This is a list of organisations that University of Bath have been in contact with at some point.
  7. We may have some relevant help sheets for you, specific to your degree. Check our Help Sheet section on our website.


Search for job adverts online / hard media

  1. Some of the above links have direct links to job sites online, but there are also other job websites which are normally used, my personal favourite is Indeed, however it can be confusing at first to find what you are looking for. Make sure to search relevant key words.  The University of St Andrews has an excellent list on their website:
  2. Check newspapers; local, regional and national websites can have job adverts listed, both in hard copy and online.
  3. Some companies and organisations do not use job websites to recruit new staff and only advertise their new roles on their own website, so always good to check!

Social networking / applying speculatively

  1. Use your contacts: friends, family, co-workers, academics, coaches and ask them to ask around too, you never know what may come out of it. Make sure people around you know that you are looking for a job. A few years ago I was searching for a job and as all my friends knew, I received interesting opportunities in my email inbox every week, especially from friends who were already searching for a job and kept me in mind when trawling through websites online or networking.
  2. Go to networking events, career fairs, sector-specific events, specific employer events, both on or off campus. You can find our events on MyFuture. You never know who you may meet.
  3. Use social media to connect, follow and interact with potential employers. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can all be used, but make sure to stay professional!
  4. If you find a company or organisation you really like the look at, but you can’t find a vacancy, apply speculatively with an email and your CV, but make sure to try and find a contact name  to send it to and write a professional targeted cover letter in the email.

Use recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies may be a good option, check our link on our website  for more information.

Further information

I wish you all the best in your job hunting, if you want more information about this topic, please go to the talk (as mentioned above) or you can find lots of great information in our Finding a graduate job – guide, which can also be picked up in our office in the Virgil Building, Manvers Street, Bath city centre.






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:



Decisions, decisions.....

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📥  Advice, Applications, Labour Market Intelligence, Networking

Lately we are seeing quite a few students trying to weigh up whether to look for a job in an area they don't quite meet the requirements for, or to spend a year studying for a masters degree to bolster their qualifications and fill a perceived skills gap. So they come to us saying 'which one should I do?'

Now, we can do many things as Careers Advisers. We can (help) turn the shyest of students into a more confident person, ready to face an interviewer. We can (help you) refine your job seeking strategy. We can even (help you) write the perfect cover letter to the organisation you really want to work for.

But what we cannot do is make decisions for you. Of course we *could*, but we don't. Because then it becomes our career plan, not *your* career plan. And that one-letter-difference is the most important difference there is.

What we can do is help you run through pros and cons of various options: does the job you want to do really require a masters? what 'other experience' will help you get the job even if you don't have an exactly matching degree? which would companies prefer?

You will hear a lot of the Careers Adviser's favourite answer. A prize for anyone who can comment on this article and tell me what that answer is.

Now don't get me wrong. We actually love speaking to students about their career paths and helping them work out which way is the best way for them. The skill of career path navigation is a tricky one to learn, and we love to teach it. It is so satisfying seeing students joining the dots.

If you'd like to learn how to navigate your way through your own careers landscape, then there are a couple of ways you could start.

Have a look at our pages on Choosing a career - full of information and suggested techniques. Read these, and use whichever one makes sense to you.

If you already know the career you want but are not sure of the way to get there, have a look at some job adverts, or register for the Bath Connection and talk to a couple of alumni experts. The 'what is the best way to get in?' question is a perfect starter-for-ten.

Or book one of our Quick Query appointments - sometimes just speaking your thoughts out loud will be enough to make one path stand out.


How can you stay employable in 2020?

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📥  Advice, Careers Resources, Graduate Jobs, Labour Market Intelligence, Tips & Hints

Following on from our blog post 'What will the job market look like in 20 years time', I wanted to share this infographic which highlights how employers are starting to think. Career management is a lifelong process and the most successful individuals are those who are constantly adapting, developing new skills  and evolving with the changes in the market place. So what can you do now to remain employable in 5-years time?

important work-skills



What will the job market look like in 20 years time?

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📥  Sector Insight, Tips & Hints


Really fascinating read from the Guardian Professional published yesterday. Key points from the article include:

  • The graduate jobs market is growing and having a degree will be increasingly valuable in the future.
  •  Rather than fears over unemployment the concern for the future jobs market is about pay, with an economy where we will see large scale, low income employment.
  • Increased polarization between skilled and unskilled labour.
  • The technology sector will grow but it will also displace some traditional jobs.
  • The unpaid internship trend may fade away completely.

What is the Graduate Job Market Looking like in 2015?

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📥  Graduate Jobs, Labour Market Intelligence



The Graduate Market in 2015 – is a study of graduate vacancies and starting salaries at UK's 100 leading employers, conducted by High Fliers in December 2014. In order to create this league table of leading UK employers, High Fliers Research  interviewed over 18,000 final year students who between them  named over 1,200 different organisations during the survey – the 100 employers with the most student votes formed The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers for 2014/15. You can pick up the Times Top 100 Graduate Employer Handbook for 2014/15 free from the Careers Service.

The last six years have certainly been a turbulent time for the graduate job market and it is therefore encouraging to hear that overall graduate vacancies among the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers are expected to increase by 8.1% this year.  The High Fliers report predicts graduate recruitment will be at its highest in 2015.

Below are some interesting points to note from the survey:

  • Alongside engineering, the largest growth in vacancies is expected in the public sector, accounting & professional services, banking & finance, retail and the armed forces; which together intend to recruit over 1,200 extra graduates in 2015.
  • Recruiters have confirmed that 31% of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations, either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work.
  • The average starting salary in 2015 is £30,000 (interestingly the highest published graduate starting salaries for 2015 are at Aldi (£42,000) and the European Commission (£41,500).
  • There is a significant growth in the number of employers offering work experience opportunities to 1st years.
  • More than four-fifths of organisations are offering vacancies in London for 2015 and almost half plan to hire new recruits for positions in the South East of England.

Despite of the silver lining, the graduate job market remains competitive. According to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), significant number of vacancies remain unfilled as employers are unable to find the right candidates. Graduates must ensure they really do their research, target their applications and ensure their CVs do them justice if they want to be in with a good chance of securing employment upon graduation. If you are a Bath Student, do consider exploring the resources on the Careers Service website and book a 1:1 appointment with an adviser.

If you are a member of staff and would like to discuss The Graduate Market 2015 report further, then please get in touch with your Departmental Careers Adviser.