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...

 


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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQzPfib7YyA 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgjaWq0d7I8 

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.


12 April 2012 02:26 PM

Guest Post: Relevant Work Experience Valued by Graduates over Part-Time Jobs

As competition amongst young people for graduate jobs remains fierce, placement work schemes and placements that offer relevant work experience are becoming more highly prized over part-time jobs that may pay better but are less relevant to the graduate’s desired career path.

During their university years, students have often been advised to take almost any form of part-time work between term time. This not only helps ease the financial burden of student life but also stands students in good stead for the process of job applications later on.

However, the advice now being given to students is to be more discerning in what they take on between terms and even before arriving at university in order to secure the best chances of getting a position in the industry of their choice. Building up a portfolio of work experience that is relevant to their chosen industry can be far more valuable than simply picking the first thing that’s offered on a campus jobs board.

This is not to say that student won’t gain valuable skills and experience working part-time in the services industry or other fields of a more temporary nature. However, graduate careers advisors have warned that this type of work experience by itself may not be enough to secure them their preferred job after graduation.

Instead, university based programmes which offer built-in work placement schemes and internships have become an increasingly appealing prospect and have been espoused by both careers advisors and business CEOs as the ideal means to get graduates onto their chosen career path. Degrees with an additional year of work placement after three years of academic study are being offered by an increasing variety of business schools and universities as relevant work experience rises on the priority list of prospective employers, especially those offering IT jobs in London.

After reviewing the process of collaboration universities and businesses, Sir Tim Wilson fully endorsed work placements and internship schemes that allowed students to amass vital work experience before entering the often tough proving grounds of finding their first position after graduating. His research suggested that students became eminently more employable after completing such schemes.

He said: "I think we're beginning to see internships being used as part of an extended interview process. The evidence that a placement year improves employability opportunities is strong while a lack of work experience appears as a key barrier."

A report from the Office for National Statistics has shown that the graduate population has rocketed in the last 10 years by more than 430,000. Clearly this makes for much stiffer competition for the most attractive positions as they complete their studies, in all industries from accountancy to IT jobs UK wide. With the prospect of a solid year of relevant work experience behind them, graduates stand a much better chance of standing out against the much expanded crowd.

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