At this time of the year students are graduating all over the country, along with thousands of hopefuls waiting to see if they have gained a place at their university of choice. As graduates compete for jobs, it has to be asked whether or not potential employers really care where you study. Results have been released as part of the report ‘The Graduate Market in 2012’ report, highlighting which universities employers target most, and it has shown some pretty surprising results.
First of all, Oxford and Cambridge, the ‘typically top’ universities, do feature but are not top of the table. With Manchester first, others featured include Birmingham, Bath and Southampton.
So what makes these universities so attractive to employers? Well, it certainly can’t be their position league tables as Manchester didn’t even make the top 30 in the last results. More surprisingly, the usual high rankers such as York don’t even feature in the employers’ choice. So if it isn’t league tables, what is it?
Well, it’s important to think about it from a business mind-set. These businesses are advertising themselves, as well as their own graduate schemes, so they definitely don’t want to do that in a small university. That’s where Manchester comes in. With a massive student body of over 40,000 it makes a whole lot of sense to be advertising there.
So does this mean that if your university doesn’t feature in this table you should worry about your post-graduate opportunities? Definitely not, for many reasons.
Something to remember is that this report only took into account The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. This is a very small group of businesses, and not all graduate schemes will be accounted for. Then there’s the fact that each university provides a unique course of each subject, with many universities specialising in specific areas. For example, Loughborough is famous for its dedication to sport, while St Martins is all about the arts. Choosing Manchester over St Martins for something like fashion, for example, would make little sense. It’s all about choosing the right place for you.
Don’t forget that an employer isn’t going to pick up your CV and judge you on where you studied. The things that will make you stand out of the crowd will be your degree classification, your work experience and extra activities, as well as your personality and suitability for the job. Yes, we all love to say we studied at a top ranking university for this or for that, but really, that’s nothing to do with your success. It’s about choosing somewhere that’s right for you, working hard, and making yourself as employable as possible.