When you are considering opportunities for after university, you are likely to encounter a plethora of terms. This may raise questions, such as:
- What’s the difference between a graduate scheme, a graduate job and a graduate internship?
- When and where can I find these opportunities?
- How do I apply?
This page will help to answer those questions and help you navigate the graduate jobs market.
A graduate scheme is a structured and time-limited programme. Commonly found in large businesses, public services and charities, but some smaller employers may offer them. They come in all shapes and sizes, but some common traits include:
- Work interspersed with training and/or qualifications
- Early responsibility and an emphasis on leadership
- Rotation across different departments and/or branches to get a feel for what you like best (rotations can be within a pre-chosen specialism or more varied).
- Last between 1-3 years.
- Early recruitment cycle - start to look in the summer before final year of study (and it’s advisable to research before that) for schemes starting the following summer or autumn.
- Deadlines vary, but many are in December or January. Some close early if they have a high number of applications. Most welcome applicants who have graduated in the last 2-3 years.
- A multi-stage recruitment process, typically involving an initial written application, psychometric assessments, telephone/video interviews, assessment centres and final interviews. Seek application support so you feel as confident as possible.
- Are found across the country, typically in cities but not just in London. Some may be multi-location.
- Any job that requires a degree!
- However, graduate jobs may be in fields that strictly speaking accept other qualifications/routes in, but where a degree may be seen as an advantage.
- Unlikely to have a defined programme of training and development, but this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any developmental opportunities.
- Apply 1-2 months before being available to work but it is beneficial to research and make connections prior to that.
- May also be referred to as ‘Direct entry’ or ‘Entry level’. Just check the detail to see if it is aimed at graduates. Some graduates initially start in non-graduate roles as a stepping stone to gain more experience before progressing.
- Temporary positions, so ideal if you want more experience before committing long term.
- Advertised all year around; apply 1-2 months before being available to work.
- Should be paid, but there are exceptions.
- You can find a useful summary of the law around this on TARGETjobs.
Find out more on our Internships page.
Where to look for graduate schemes and jobs (not exhaustive)
- Large websites that cover a range of sectors and roles include UniHub (Hallam specific); Prospects, TARGETjobs, Milkround and the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.
- Public sector and charity schemes include Civil Service Fast Stream, NGDP (local government), NHS Graduate Management, Frontline and Think Ahead (social work), Teach First, Police Now, Charity Works and Cancer Research UK
- The RISE scheme connects graduates to SMEs in the Sheffield City Region.
- Look directly to organisations of interest and sector/role specific sites. Some are recommended on the job profiles found on Prospects.
- Speak to your Employability Adviser
- In November, we will host our annual Hallam Careers Fair where you get a chance to speak to Employers directly! This year, it is hosted online- keep an eye out for more information coming soon