The top 100 graduate employers list represents the most recognised employer brand names in graduate recruitment for UK graduates. However, all these programmes will be heavily subscribed for 2014 so do look at the graduate schemes of other employers in a particular sector that don’t necessarily have instant ‘household name’ status or big recruitment advertising budgets.

Whilst each organisation is loosely categorised within its core sectors, many of these graduate employers offer opportunities to go into a variety of disciplines such as IT, Finance, Engineering, Project Management and Marketing. The Army need medics and engineers as well as leaders of modern soldiers. IBM are a technology company but they also have a large consultancy operation. The Big 4 accounting firms don’t just need accountants, nor does a first career in accountancy limit you to a life of number crunching. John Lewis are a major retailer but they also need IT and purchasing professionals as well as future store leaders. The Arcadia Group may not ring any bells of recognition for you but they are the power behind High Street brands such as Burton, TopShop and Miss Selfridge.

Think laterally about your skills and interests and how they will be welcomed by particular graduate employers. You don’t always have to go for, seemingly, the most obvious choice to begin an interesting and challenging career! The company name link will take you directly to their graduate careers page on their main company website. or career microsite. Check out the listings at the bottom of the page for other sources of information on graduate employers.

Accounting & Professional Services

PwC
Deloitte
KPMG
Ernst & Young
Grant Thornton
BDO

Don’t forget to consult journals such as Accountancy Age where you will also find information on other leading UK accountancy firms with graduate opportunities such as Baker Tilly, Smith & Williamson and PKF.

Banking & Finance

HSBC
Barclays Bank
The RBS Group
Lloyds Banking Group

Investment Banking

Goldman Sachs
J.P. Morgan
Morgan Stanley
Barclays Capital
UBS
Citi
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Deutsche Bank
Credit Suisse

Don’t forget other employers in this sector such as insurance giants Standard Life and others such as Standard Chartered, Zurich, Friends Life .

Charity

Cancer Research UK

Structured graduate schemes are hard to come by in this sector but trying applying for a ‘proper job’ at a charity instead and make your own way up. Or, develop your skills in the private or public sector first and then move across later. Don’t forget many of the big professional services consultancies and media companies have charity clients you could get assigned to.

Chemical & Pharmaceuticals

AstraZeneca
GlaxoSmithKline

Check out specific searches in this sector for employers with less high profiles schemes on graduate websites such as Milkround.

Consulting

Accenture
Bain & Company
Boston Consulting Group
McKinsey & Company

Don’t forget to check out other major players such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Capgemini.
Other professional services and IT providers such as PwC and IBM also offer routes into consulting.

Consumer Goods

Diageo (brands include Smirnoff, Baileys, Guinness & Tanqueray)
Kraft Foods (brands include Kenco, Dairylea, Toblerone, Oreo, Carte Noire)
L’Oréal (additional brands include Body Shop, Keraste, Vichy, Lancome, Maybelline)
Mars (brands include Dolmia, Whiskas, Twix, Milky Way)
Procter & Gamble (brands include Pampers, Tide, Pantene, Head and Shoulders)
Sony (brands include Walkman, Playstation and Vaio)
Unilever (brands include Flora, Dove, Persil, Magnum, Knorr, Pot Noodle)

Don’t forget to check out other major players such as Danone or The Coca-Cola Company and consider the many individual brands that each company in this category represent. Every one needs a small army of brand managers and a support team of purchasing, IT and finance team members to make them successful.

Engineering, Transport & Industrial

Airbus
Arup
Atkins
BAE Systems
Balfour Beatty
Jaguar Land Rover
Rolls-Royce
Siemens
Transport for London
Network Rail

Don’t forget to check out more opportunities with companies such as GE or BMW and specialist grad sites such as Gradcracker.

IT & Telecoms

BT
IBM
Vodafone

And… O2, Google, Apple , Intel and Microsoft.

Law

Allen & Overy
Baker & McKenzie
Clifford Chance
DLA Piper
Freshfields
Herbert Smith
Hogan Lovells
Linklaters
Slaughter and May

Check out more information on ‘Magic Circle’ and other law firms here.

Media

The BBC
Bloomberg
Penguin
Saatchi & Saatchi
Sky
WPP

And also check out top employers such as Thomson Reuters and
Random House

Oil or Energy

BP
ExxonMobil
Shell
nucleargraduates
Centrica
E.ON
EDF Energy
npower

Public Sector

Civil Service
GCHQ
MI5
NHS
Teach First

It’s well worth exploring these organisations thoroughly – the public sector offers scope for many more diverse, influential and interesting career choices than you might at first realise.

Armed Forces

The Army
The Royal Navy
The Royal Air Force

Retailing

Boots
Arcadia Group
John Lewis
Marks & Spencer
Aldi
Asda
The Co-operative Group
Lidl
Sainsbury’s
Tesco

Shop floor experience is vital to understanding the retail business, however, these companies also offer interesting routes to careers in purchasing, IT, marketing and HR and finance.

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