Graduate Schemes - what are they & should I be applying?

A graduate scheme is one career option to consider

What are they? 

Graduate schemes are structured training programmes run by many leading UK employers, which offer a period of paid training and work. They usually last between one to two years and are available in a number of streams or specialisms.  

“Approximately 60% of graduate schemes are open to students from any degree discipline” 

Advantages of graduate schemes 

Graduate schemes provide a great opportunity to start building your career. You’ll get hands on experience from the outset, with access to training to develop key skills and professional qualifications where relevant. Good entry-level salaries with the potential for an accelerated career path. You could be working in a specific role, within an established team, or work in different areas of the organisation over the duration of the programme.  

“Many graduates are offered permanent roles on completion of graduate schemes” 

Issues to consider  

The demand for graduate scheme places is high and competition can be fierce. You can prepare by researching the organisation and role. Many employers include Graduate testimonials on their website; you could also consider contacting USW Alumni working at the organisation. Ensure you are clear about the competencies, behaviour and skills the employer is looking for so that you can ensure you evidence this through the recruitment process.  

Should I be applying? 

If you think a graduate scheme might be an option for you, start searching for opportunities now. The majority of opportunities are advertised between September and January, of your final year for a September start. CareersConnect is a good place to start searching for opportunities targeting USW students. 

“Check opening and deadline dates carefully as some close almost a year before the start date” 

Specialist Graduate Jobs Websites 

You will find a broad range of Graduate schemes and Graduate Jobs advertised on these specialist jobs websites: - STEM opportunities  

General Job websites 

You can also find Graduate Schemes and Graduate jobs on general jobs websites, ensure you specify ‘Graduate’ in search parameters  

MyCareer job search engine

Find out more about Graduate Schemes 
targetjobs graduate schemes article

USW Careers Support  

Check out CareersConnect, the USW Careers jobs portal where hundreds of graduate jobs have been posted. Log on and set up alerts – it’s super easy.

There are lots of employer events happening throughout the Autumn Term which will be posted on CareersConnect, you can also sign up for event alerts to make sure that you don’t miss out.

There is lots of help available on our website to make sure that you stand out on your applications, and you can also get 1-2-1 careers support.  Chat to a careers adviser about graduate schemes