"Barriers to higher education are frequently mentioned in the press and the discussion includes the importance of going to both a good school and university to secure a place in a professional career. How much it affect your chances..."
Barriers to higher education are frequently mentioned in the press and the discussion includes the importance of going to both a good school and university to secure a place in a professional career. Still, nowadays how much does the university where you study affect your chances of getting your desired graduate job?
Over recent years, the government has been thinking about the best ways to increase social mobility and to reduce the amount of students that are recruited from "socially exclusive" universities. This is to promote fairness, since there are many talented students in all universities who should get access to the same types of graduate jobs. However, it seems that there is still a long way to go, since a large proportion of those in professional careers have been privately educated or studied at a top university.
Indeed, a study by a graduate recruitment agency has revealed that certain universities are specifically targeted by the top graduate employers. These include Cambridge, Imperial College, UCL and LSE (all in London), Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford. Therefore, this suggests that if you study a good degree at one of those universities mentioned, then you are in a better position to tackle the graduate jobs market, compared to some of your peers. However, by looking at employment statistics for different universities, you will realise that the story is not so simple.
Although some universities are well known compared to others, this does not mean that studying there will automatically lead to a graduate job. You need to be proactive in your search by researching companies on the internet, speaking to professionals, as well as attending careers fairs and insight days. Companies are interested in students who demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for the career and who also have a sound knowledge of the industry. Therefore, studying at other universities still gives you a very good chance of finding a graduate job and networking with professionals at events is very important indeed.
Overall, you need to overcome the barriers to graduate jobs by having a positive attitude and being determined. By doing considerable research about the company and industry, you will be one step closer to impressing interviewers. Also, it is worthwhile speaking to your friends at other universities and seeing which employers attend their careers events. Finally, making contacts at firms is a good way of learning more about the job and deciding whether it is actually right for you.