Next, here is a sample of elite graduate jobs, as well as a list of prize employers in that category. Most of these descriptions may sound like “gobbledygook” to you at this stage but worry not as they will be explained later. These technical terms are quite simple once explained. Each of these graduate careers will be discussed later in more detail.
- Accountancy: Great foundation for a business career with a paid for professional qualification. Can join with any degree. Top employers: PWC, Deloitte, Grant Thornton
- Engineering, Design and Manufacturing: Need to have studied engineering or STEM subjects as a degree. Head firms: Rolls Royce, Jaguar, BAE
- Construction and building services: Focused on civil engineering and so need to have done a related degree. Top employers Arup, Atkins, Balfour Beatty
- FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) and Consumer Goods: An array of expert operatives are crucial to stemming stock scarcities: all found in top market supplier firms, creating employment for possible in these immense global multinationals. Can join with any degree. Top employers Unilever, L’Oreal, Mondelez (Kraft and Cadbury)
- Banking: Banking is so big and vast its best to look at the key segments; Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Investment Banking, Funds Management. Most mass funding groups like Barclays and HSBC have separate divisional units that are active in each if not all of these areas. You will have to choose a distinct segment to apply to.
- Retail Banking: This is the investment that most people experience as it deals with mass-market consumers. Also called Consumer Banking or Personal Banking. It’s the business of current accounts, payment cards and mortgages. Can join with any degree. Top employers; Barclays, Virgin Money, Santander Nationwide
- Corporate Banking: This deals with banking services to businesses either small or medium size (Known as SME, Small and Medium Enterprises) or sizable companies. Also called Commercial Banking. Similar requirements to Retail banking. Top employers; RBS, HSBC
- Investment Banking: This consists of several areas such as Corporate Finance (including Mergers and Acquisitions), Sales and trading in various aspects of Capital Markets and research (on companies at a micro level and macro factors impacting it). Highly paid, lots of perks, long hours and intense. Can join with any degree but need solid analytical skills. Top employers; Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan.
- Fund or Investment Management: Investment management is about managing money by investing it in a variety of asset classes like equities (or shares) and bonds. Can join with any degree.Top employers: Blackrock, Fidelity, Schroders and most of the global banks have fund management divisions.
- Insurance:There is a myriad of posts available, ranging from Claims (administering requests) to Underwriting ( analysing risks and setting premiums), Broking (examining needs and negotiating the best deal with insurance companies) to Actuarial (statistical analysis of risk). They all lead to professional qualifications. Insurance covers a variety of areas including Retirement, Automobile, Residential, Aeronautics, Maritime, and Life (to name a few fields) across individuals and businesses. Can join with any degree but some areas like actuary are very mathematical. Top employers: Zurich, Allianz, Hiscox.
- Management Consulting: This is very intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding. Consulting advice encompasses a wide variety of management issues such as Strategy Consulting (development of corporate strategy), Operational Consulting and IT Consulting. Can join with any degree.Top employers: McKinsey, Bain and BCG and the large-scale accountancy firms.
- Retail, buying and merchandising: Retailers come in 3 types: Grocery supermarkets (Tesco, ASDA, Waitrose), Non-food (John Lewis), Mixed retailers that do foods and non-foods (Marks & Spencer), Fashion (Arcadia, Next) and Luxury (Burberry). Within these, the principal roles are in Retail Management (store management) Buying (being quick to spot customer wants, new brands, market changes and trends) and Merchandising (developing a strategy to sell a range of products that delivers sales). Can join with any degree.
- Energy and Natural Resources: Activities divide into two areas: exploration-production and refining-marketing. Exploration/ Production involves searching for new oil/natural resources and usually require engineering or geological degrees. Refining/Marketing focuses on processing the raw product that comes out of the ground into a saleable form; this has no specific degree requirement. Some large energy companies are ‘vertically integrated’ i.e. they dig up the natural resource to selling it to end consumers. Top employers: BP, Shell, and BG
Another way to look at possible careers is to evaluate different functional roles. These posts are found in most global markets. Key positions to consider are as follows:
- IT and Technology: Become an IT specialist to design, develop, build and support the technology that plays a critical role in all businesses. You can get involved in IT Operations (responsible for setting direction and managing the delivery of IT projects),
- Enterprise Architecture and Design (defines the architecture and roadmap for the future use of IT) and Application Development and Maintenance (responsible for developing, testing, launching and maintaining all IT systems). You will need to demonstrate some expertise in IT like a degree in IT, Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering or a subject that you are doing involving IT; but some roles do not need a particular degree. There are preeminent jobs from global tech giants such as Google and Apple to consumer businesses like Tesco, banks like Barclays and in large accountancy firms like KPMG.
- Sales: This is concerned with the selling of goods and services to other consumers (Business to Consumer/ B2C) or other firms (Business to Business/ B2B). The centre of each enterprise is commerce: whether it produces a physical product, such as shampoo, medicines or shoes, or offers a service, such as airlines or healthcare. The majority of graduate roles will be in business to business (B2B). If you like dealing with people and have a ‘salesy’ personality, you can apply. Any degree will do. The top-notch ventures are most large multinational companies (especially FMCG companies) such as Unilever, Nestle and Proctor and Gamble
- Marketing: Marketing is different from selling and is more strategic. It’s about getting key components of ‘marketing mix’ for goods or services of any organisation from fashion to food. You might potentially consider journalism, mass media, and psychology, advertising degrees (they might have higher returns), but jobs are open to graduates of any degree. Roles include
- – Account managers (who maintain close contact with clients and pass on their requirements to the organisation)
- – Marketing Creatives (who are involved in producing the copy for the campaign to the consumer requirements set out by the account manager)
- – Marketing Executives (developing client-led sales strategies, attracting new customers and evaluating the performance of campaigns). Top employers are similar to Sales large FMCG companies and Retailers.
- Research: There are a variety of careers in science, research and development applying scientific skills and expertise for commercial benefits.
5. Science employers cover a broad range of fields:
Atomic Physics Technology
Drug Testing, Development and Manufacturing
Genetics and Gene Tech
Geology and Geography
Earth Science including Weather forecasting
Fuel and energy
You will need a science degree in the related area. Top employers range from food technologists at Marks and Spencer, to pharmaceuticals in GSK, and petroleum with Shell.
6. Human Resources: HR and recruitment are big industries, as all large organisations are always requiring new talent and managing talent to continue its growth. Corporations strive for the finest talent globally to ensure that their firms are versatile and prepared in all aspects. A robust team keeps a firm successful, and they are found by human resources (HR). HR careers are available in most global organisations ranging from Rolls Royce, PWC to Tesco. Can join with any degree if you can demonstrate an aptitude for this.