Students Staff

11 July 2016

University of Essex one of the best for new graduate employment

Professor Renos Papadopoulos

Students on the award-winning Frontrunners scheme

Award-winning support programmes and strong links with employers means the University of Essex is a top 20 university for helping new graduates find jobs and go onto further study.

The UK Performance Indicators for employment of graduates released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) show 96% of University of Essex graduates in 2014-15 found work or were continuing their studies within six months of completing their first degree.

This means the University of Essex is 19th out of UK mainstream universities for new graduate employment - up 3.3% from the previous year and well above the national average of 93.9%. The University of Essex is also ranked 7th in the UK among non-specialist universities for its performance against its national benchmark, which takes into account its student intake profile and its geographical location.

Strong focus on improving students' employability

Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Aletta Norval said: “At Essex, we place a very strong focus on improving our students’ employability. We recognise the importance to our students of finding the right job after their studies and making sure they also have the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study opportunities if that is their aspiration.

“Employers are working with us to help us transform the opportunities open to our graduates. Our Employability Strategy has created dedicated posts in our faculties to promote work experience, develop one-to-one coaching programmes for final year students, and expand our programme of careers talks and employer presentations.

“We’ve also set-up employer advisory boards across our University so we can work even more closely with employers to develop course which really help graduates develop the skills they need in the workplace. This fantastic result has been achieved through a whole university approach - academics, professional services and students all pulling together. All of this has been crucially underpinned by an active partnership with academic departments, with lecturers embedding employability skills in the curriculum, supporting students in their role as Personal Tutors and promoting employability as an integral part of the Essex experience.”

The HESA figures are based on the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey which asked 2014-15 university leavers what they were doing six months after graduation.

The latest HESA data covers the University of Essex as a whole and internal data indicates particularly strong performances in the School of Health and Human Science, the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering and the School of Law. There have also been significant improvements in the Department of Language and Linguistics and the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.

Students' Union committed to helping students achieve high-quality degree and amazing jobs

Josh Gulrajani, VP Education at the University of Essex Students’ Union (SU), said: “The SU is committed to helping its members get an amazing job at the end of their degree, it is an integral part of the work we do. Our students come to Essex with an aim, of getting a high-quality degree and leaving here with the job that they want, and as an SU we work tirelessly with employers and our networks to help them to achieve that aim.

“Through the employment of over 350 members of student staff, we strive to help students improve their employability at all stages of their studies, and provide them with real training and transferable skills that they then take on to their future careers.

“It is fantastic to see that the work carried out by the Students’ Union and the University is having a positive effect on Essex graduates, and we will continue to work with our students, for our students in everything that we do.”

How our Employability and Careers Centre supports our students

Director of Employability Dave Stanbury said a huge amount of work is going into supporting students to make informed choices about their future and articulate their strengths and skills to potential employers.

He said: “Our Employability and Careers Centre has made significant steps forward in the growth of our internships programme, while our award-winning Frontrunners scheme provides paid on-campus work placements focused on skills development for several hundred students.

“The service has also developed training and support for student entrepreneurs, including a business creation bootcamp. We’re also innovating in the support we offer, for example, offering seedcorn funding for acting students to set up their own theatre companies.

“The development of our Big Essex Employability Award is helping growing numbers of students to reflect on the skills they have gained while at Essex.

“This includes getting involved in volunteering, completing work experience and getting involved with our numerous student societies. Importantly our students are learning to be confident about telling employers what they have gained from their studies and extracurricular activities.

“All of this has been crucially underpinned by an active partnership with academic departments, with lecturers embedding employability skills in the curriculum, supporting students in their role as Personal Tutors and promoting employability as an integral part of the Essex experience.”

Students completing the Big Essex Employability Award have grown from 550 last year to 675 in 2015-16 with more than 2,000 signing-up this year. But, also the support does not just finish when students graduate, they continue to part of Essex’s global family and can access vital support, careers advice and internship opportunities.

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