The UK is well-known for its status as a multicultural and diverse global centre of learning. It welcomes international students with open arms, and UK universities are passionate about helping graduate students to launch their careers in their chosen field. If you are thinking of coming to the UK to study at the undergraduate or postgraduate level, or you have already studied at university and want to remain in the UK to live and work, you may be wondering what your options are. From 1st July 2021, international students who have successfully completed an undergraduate or master's degree will be able to benefit from two years’ work experience in the UK upon graduation, through the new Graduate Route scheme. Students who complete a PhD will be able to stay on for three years. To qualify, you will have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a Higher Education Provider, with a valid student visa. Here's a guide to how universities can help with your Graduate Route and starting your job search in the UK.
1. UK institutions provide all students with professional career services from day one
You'll have all the career support you need when you study at a UK university, which will help you to decide your options after your degree course has reached its completion. If you want to stay in the UK and look for work, your university will typically offer career services and support, so that you know where and how to kickstart your job hunt.
The University of Dundee for example offers a full careers service, volunteering advice, careers fairs, and entrepreneurship training so you can pack your CV full of the skills employers are looking for to land that perfect job. Career advice is offered for life to all graduates to make sure that you get the support you need at every stage of your career. The university is actually ranked 1st in Scotland for graduate prospects, based on the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
Through the University of Dundee Careers Portal, you will be able to access a wide range of careers, related services and information including the University JobShop, and you can also book an appointment with a careers adviser. This ensures that your personal journey, educational training and career development is far more than just turning up for lectures and attending career fairs.
If you are thinking of starting out on your own and creating your own business, the Centre for Entrepreneurship aims to improve your self-reliance and employability by providing opportunities to develop your enterprise skills and commercial awareness. The centre is managed with the help of local business experts, who provide training and mentoring sessions. There is also a packed programme of careers fairs, workshops and talks that will have a big impact on your future career.
If you have a great business idea, you may be interested in The Venture Competition – a major annual event at Dundee that supports new business ideas. There is up to £26,000 available to those with the most impressive pitches. Winners are also awarded a spot on a 3-month business accelerator programme to further develop their skills and nurture their business ideas. It's a great way to get your business off to the right start.
2. UK institutions encourage students to gain practical experience and professional skills from placements
By studying at a UK university, you'll have the opportunity to advance your skill-set and advance your professional skills by taking up placements either following or during your course of study. By taking a placement, you are getting direct experience of what it is like to work for an employer in your chosen field.
At De Montfort University (DMU), you'll meet a supportive network of people who understand that university is your new beginning, and that what you learn in books is just the start. Your degree is a stepping stone to landing your dream career, and when it comes to helping students build their careers, DMU has been named among the best universities in the UK for doing just that.
Placements are a popular and successful part of all DMU Works programmes. Students can go on a long or short placement to help them gain professional skills in the workplace. There are plenty of placements to choose from, ranging from a business insight visit to a sandwich year placement working for an employer. Students can also sign up for an Enterprise Placement Year and develop their own business idea over twelve months while earning credit towards their degree. This is a great idea for budding entrepreneurs who have a great idea for their own company.
Placements can have a big impact on employability. DMU also offers short placements, providing flexibility so that you can work and study around your lifestyle. Students can spend from 2 to 10 days based in a business or technical workplace, learning from industry experts. All students can also gain valuable employability experience volunteering with DMUlocal, and business school students can undertake a 12-week business consultancy project as part of their course.
Providing paid internships on campus for over eight years, the DMU Frontrunners scheme supports up to 100 students a year, helping them to gain high quality work experience alongside their studies. Students can work part-time through the scheme for up to six months within the professional and academic departments of the university. The scheme has a proven track record of helping students to develop the skills needed to impress employers when applying for sandwich year placements and graduate roles. Each faculty has a specialist placement team to manage employer partnerships and to help students access placements within a wide range of industries and organisations.
3. UK institutions support their students beyond their graduation
You may think that after your graduation, your university will stop supporting you and that you will be on your own in the big wide world, with your career to navigate. Rest assured that this definitely isn't true! The UK is in fact well known for its amazing aftercare and alumni support to students long after they graduate. Many services stay in place for life, so former students can always seek help when they wish. The University of Sheffield for example offers accessible services, resources and alumni support that students can still enjoy long after graduation
In addition to joining a global network of alumni, graduates of the University of Sheffield can also continue to access dedicated careers support via its Careers Service for up to three years after completing their course. Whether students are looking for their first job after finishing their degree and aren't sure where to start, or if they’ve graduated a few years ago and want a refresher in terms of help with career direction, job applications, or interviews, there is plenty of help and guidance on offer.
The University’s Careers team and the online platform, Career Connect, means that support is available for graduates, no matter where in the world they are based. Both UK national and international students are provided with a wide variety of online guidance and information resources to help them with their career planning and applications.
Although many graduates are interested in working in the UK after completing their studies, the university also provides advice and guidance on working internationally, with information on employment trends, salary ranges and cost of living, cultural advice, work and visa regulations, global vacancies and networking groups all available through the GoinGlobal platform.
Studying and then graduating from the University of Sheffield is just the start of a life-long relationship that you will have with your institution. Graduates become part of an extensive alumni community of over 300,000 people in more than 200 countries, and there are regular events and networking opportunities to connect with one another, support one another’s career progression, and access news, information and continuing support from the university.
If you are wondering how you'll be able to kickstart your career after studying in the UK, look no further than the careers guidance and support at your university. Many UK universities help students with their Graduate Route, and you can remain in the UK for two or three years after your course has finished to look for and start work, depending on whether you have studied for an undergraduate course, Master's or Ph.D. From your first day of study at a UK university, you'll get professional support and career services at your fingertips, as well as placement schemes and support networks that will be in place during your studies, at graduation and beyond.
For more information, you can visit the University of Dundee, De Montfort University and University of Sheffield websites.
University of Dundee：https://www.dundee.ac.uk
De Montfort University：https://www.dmu.ac.uk
University of Sheffield：https://www.sheffield.ac.uk