Best graduate programmes in the UK

As business picks up for a lot of employers the marketplace is beginning to open up with more and more opportunities. While the skills shortage in sectors like civil engineering is driving wages up for those with experience, there are also lots of graduate jobs on the market. The best graduate programmes in the UK really depends on the field you’re studying so we aim to give you an idea of what to expect.


Statistics show that the number of grads taken by the firms who populate The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers is on the rise. To give you an idea of how much improvement there is in the availability of graduate programmes, in 2014 there was a 7.9% rise which was the largest year on year rise for graduate recruitment. These numbers show that the intake of grads is now close to exceeding the peak experienced before the recession so this is a great time to be a graduate.

Key industries

Employers in 13 key UK industries including the public sector, accounting, banking, retail and the Armed Forces are currently offering great graduate programmes. Retail is particularly strong thanks to the competition between major supermarkets and high street retails all of which vie for the same grads.

Largest recruiters for graduates

The largest recruiters for grads are Teach First, who routinely have more than 2,000 vacancies on offer, PwC, who offer 1,500 graduates a chance each year, and their rival auditors Deloitte who have 1,100 places open each year for graduates.

Where to look for work

If you’re interested in a specific firm, check out their official site for details. Some, like the retailers in particular, will have separate recruitment sites, while others will list their vacancies and their entry criteria on their main site. Failing that, head to jobs.theguardian.com and filter on graduate jobs for a list of employers looking for you.

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