19 September 2012 08:50 AM

Spotlight on: HR Graduate Jobs

HR has shed its paper-pushing image in the last few years and is seen as an increasingly attractive destination for graduates from all degree disciplines. If you're commercially aware and also a real people person - tactful, empathetic, confident and a great communicator - who wants to use these skills in business, this could be the industry for you.

Watch a real HR professional talking about the best and worst bits of his job here.

HR departments have historically had a bit of a bad rep as the boring, 'computer says no' zone in the company - so part of your role as a modern HR professional is to change this image! HR strategy these days is very much about retaining and developing staff, not just making sure they follow the rules arbitrarily. Your understanding of employment law needs to be top-notch, too, so HR can be a good choice for law graduates who've decided that life as a solicitor or barrister isn't for them, but still want to use what they've learned in a business context.

With many companies recognising the advantages of flexible working, part of any modern HR role is to help the company and staff maintain a work-life balance that's mutually beneficial to everyone. To do this requires tact, diplomacy, empathy, assertiveness and negotiation skills. Remember that you will often be dealing with people who are in difficult or emotionally-charged situations - illness, bullying and work stress don't tend to leave people in the most calm frame of mind.

As well as the day-to-day liaison between staff and employers, HR professionals also have a big role to play in the strategic direction of the company. At a senior level, HR teams will advise on employing the right balance of staff in terms of skills and experience, advise on and help to implement training and development programmes across the company, consult with recruitment agencies, give input on pay scales, ensure compliance with current employment and working practise legislation, and lead company strategy on equality and diversity. Whew!

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06 September 2012 09:09 AM

Guest post: Cybersecurity Sector Seen as Secure Employer for Graduates


With the continuing instability of many key UK employment sectors, a sure thing is hard to find. However, cybersecurity has been heralded as an extremely secure career option for graduates with the right skills to offer.

Thanks to the rising demand for online security services and the relative scarcity of qualified candidates, the genuine difficulty faced by many job hunting graduates of ‘too much competition, too few openings’ doesn't apply in this dynamic employment sector. Both private sector and government institutions need the services of hundreds more experts in the near future to combat the rising tide of cyber-related attacks, as well as the more mundane annoyances of low-tech spammers that plague today’s internet.

While the majority of the cybersecurity industry creates tech support jobs that deal with the daily countering of these low-tech nuisances, at the other end of the scale experts are needed to fend off more sophisticated cyber-attacks. These can take the form of defrauding attacks designed to steal or misappropriate capital, or in more deadly instances they can target critical digital infrastructure that can cripple power grids or banking systems with impunity.

Cyber-related attacks are a global threat with a cost to the British Government that not even the most well-informed experts can agree on, but it certainly runs into billions of pounds every year. While the demand for cybersecurity is there, the supply doesn’t measure up to it. Edwin Kanerva, Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton, recently said: “It’s tough going out there. Every company is looking for the same thing. There’s just not enough of them. The gene pool is small.”

Given the job security and relatively high salary that a cybersecurity expert can expect to enjoy, the number of new graduates who are entering the field remains disproportionally low. Perhaps the most obvious reason for this 'small gene pool' of employable graduates in this field is the fact that students who study computer science are being lured away by the bright lights of computer engineering or software development.

The most exciting tech companies, who have Silicon Valley headquarters and a large presence in the UK, are proving to be too much of an attraction to eager young graduates with computer science degrees. The large salaries and inherent coolness of innovative tech companies means that careers with Google, Microsoft and Oracle are highly sought after, drawing computer studies graduates away from online security firms and government departments. These tech giants are also increasingly reaching out to pluck potential candidates from the graduate pool to employ them in Java jobs, as the programming language has come under fire recently for its supposed security issues.

While software development jobs with this kind of employer may be an attractive option, graduates with computer related qualifications should certainly consider the variety of excellent employers looking for cybersecurity experts. The generous salaries, job security and relatively lower levels of competition make it an excellent employment sector.

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/umdnews/5257657315/

22 August 2012 10:21 AM

5 Things You Need to Know About Engineering Graduate Jobs

Engineering can get a bit of a bad rep, unfortunately, which is a shame because it has the potential to be one of the most satisfying and stable careers out there. Read on to find out five things every aspiring engineer must know:

  1. It's not just for the guys! Watch this film to find out what women who work in engineering have to say - the general consensus seems to be that not only is it not nearly as 'blokey' as you might think, it's also easier to get noticed for being good at your job when you're the only woman on the team!
  2. There are plenty of jobs in engineering companies for non-engineers - think Sales and Marketing, Project Management, HR, Logistics. A graduate scheme at an engineering company can be a great way to get transferable business skill that will translate to a wide range of careers.
  3. It can offer some of the most flexible hours of any professional job - many companies offer perks like flexitime, and some even give you every Friday afternoon off - yes, really! 
  4. Some engineering graduate schemes will consider candidates with a 2.2 - so this industry can be a good choice if you've not quite hit the grade you hoped for.
  5. Engineering can offer the option of lots of international travel if that's something that takes your fancy - definitely worth bearing in mind, we say!

For more information on careers in engineering, click here.

Or click on the image below...


27 July 2012 09:07 AM

Just Graduated? Pondering Postgraduate Study? Read On!

The lure of another year to make up your mind, or a wise choice for your future career? Postgraduate study can be both these thing - more often than not, at the same time!

If you're considering a postgraduate course - whether you want to spend another year studying something you adore, or you need a postgrad qualification for your chosen career - there are plenty of options to consider. Unless you're lucky enough to get funding, postgrad courses can be a bit of a pain to finance, so it's essential to make an informed decision.

We've asked experts for their top tips and advice, so watch the video below and take the first step to informed post-uni choices today.

Find out more CLICK HERE

Or click on the image below...


23 April 2012 10:04 AM

Women in Engineering - we made a documentary!

And we're very proud of it. We even got to go to the House of Lords for International Womens' Day because of it - how cool are we?

We were pretty horrified to discover that just 7% of engineers in the UK are women, so we decided to do something about this (we're practical like that). We made a film that showcases influential women in the world of engineering, telling us why they love their jobs and why engineering is a great industry to work in, regardless of gender.

We made two edits of the film - the first is aimed at schoolkids so it's a bit more general - and here they are:



We're so chuffed with these - we'd love you to reblog/retweet/tumblr/facebook them, etc - especially if you're a) a woman, b) a nerd and c) think that the next generation of girls and women need to know just how awesome it is to work in science and engineering.

15 November 2011 01:01 PM

Guest Post: Some good news for IT graduates...

Unemployment among IT graduates has fallen for the first time since the beginning of the recession, research has found. The number of graduates out of work, after leaving university, dropped from 16.3 per cent in 2009 to 14.2 per cent in 2010, according to research from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU).

There was a 4.2 per cent rise in the number who had IT jobs in the UK, with a total of 68.6 per cent in work, the annual survey of graduates found.The proportion of graduates working directly as IT professionals also jumped from 38.9 per cent to 44.2 per cent. The majority of these (14.4 per cent) were software designers and engineers, followed by programmers and computer analysts (7.4 per cent) or web developers and producers (5.8 per cent).

Google, Microsoft, Unilever, BSkyB, Credit Suisse and Lloyds TSB Banking Group as well as the NHS were just some of the companies and organisations that had employed IT graduates. The research, which some 8,845 people took part in, also found that less IT graduates are undertaking further study. This number dropped sharply from 11.3 per cent to 9.5 per cent. However, a large IT gender gap is still present, with the survey discovering that only one-fifth - 17.4 per cent, or 1,540 employees - were women.

Graduates were undertaking a variety of Masters and PhD degrees, such as computer science, management, computer games technology, computer security and resilience, e-business and financial systems engineering. This shows the spectrum of emerging and evolving industries where IT graduates are now required, such as the rapid increase in gis jobs available. Options for non-IT degrees included law and international human resource management.

"The jobs market for graduates in IT and computing degrees is improving, and the unemployment rate is coming down," said Charlie Ball, HECSU's deputy research director. “It’s also encouraging to see many graduates in the sector are going to work for small and medium-sized businesses – often very exciting and dynamic places to start your new IT careers"

"Graduates in computing and IT are also more likely than most to start their own business and this enterprising streak is good for their careers and good for the economy.”

According to separate research, IT roles in the retail sector have risen this year by 21 per cent. Advertisements for retail contract work increased by 24.4 per cent. And ads for permanent positions in software companies and consultancies grew by 18.8 per cent in the past year. Job opportunities in financial industries rose by 3.9 per cent. Contract roles in the same sector jumped by 16.5 per cent in the past 12 months. One industry insider said that the increases were likely to be a result of firms outsourcing to get costs down.

In early October, figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed that unemployment in the UK was at a 17-year high. There are now nearly one million young people between 16 and 24 who are jobless. Plans to recruit 5,000 business mentors to help push up the number of female entrepreneurs, and to help kick-start the economy, were recently unveiled by the Government.

18 June 2010 09:10 AM

I feel the need...the need for speed!

Anyone who has watched Top Gun will have dreamed about life as a pilot. So we went in search of one to find out what it's really like. 

Meet Jamie Sharp, a commercial pilot with one of the UK's top Airlines.

If you love travelling and want a job with a structured career path and good pay - it might be worth adding to your list of possible graduate job options.

Click the image below to watch the video on CareerPlayer...  

26 April 2010 09:12 AM

Do you have a typical day?

Apparently no one does...

04 December 2009 10:16 AM

Carl Gilleard + CareerPlayer + Golf = Graduate Market Update Video!

There are 2 things you need to know about Carl Gilleard. The first is that he's head of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) which makes him a walking oracle on the graduate market. The second is that he's an uber golf enthusiast. So to tempt him away from the office we invited him to indulge in both his passions...

The result is this video which is the first in a regular series of films offering a unique insight into how things look in the graduate market each quarter. In it Carl reveals his advice for graduates, his views on the key issues facing employers and his predictions for 2010.

But most importantly, remember readers...drive for show, putt for dough!

01 October 2009 06:07 PM

Renault F1 Technical Lead Pat Symonds Talks to CareerPlayer

We're never quite sure what to do with the amazing graduate career videos we shoot which become rather abruptly historic! Last year Lehman's dissapeared after we filmed with them and this year Renault F1 has gone through quite an upheaval shortly after we filmed Pat Symonds. I hope there's not a trend here...

Given all of the content is still relevant (and probably more entertaining in retrospect), we've decided that the blog is the natural home for our cutting room floor. So here' a short exerpt from Pat Symonds the 'ex' technical lead of Renaul F1 who gave us some insights into graduate jobs in engineering and motorsport.

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