What is a graduate job?

Debra Rutherford
31 January 2022
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Upon leaving university, or indeed many months before you complete your degree you will be faced with the decision of where to go next. Many wish to continue their studies with postgraduate degrees or professional qualifications. If you are eager to get out into the world of work then read on.

There are many pathways to choose from when seeking employment after completing a degree. There are graduate training schemes, entry level jobs and graduate jobs.

In this article we will focus on graduate jobs and the many benefits of choosing a graduate role.

In short a graduate job is defined as a position within an organisation that is exclusively accessible by those with an undergraduate degree. 

What is the difference between a graduate training scheme and a graduate job?

A graduate training scheme is open to graduates who have been awarded a 2:1 or above. There can be exceptions, but this is the general rule. A graduate training scheme is usually undertaken over a specific period of time, often two years. A structured training programme begins on a specific date and will be followed whereby experience is gained across a variety of departments within the organisation. Although it is not guaranteed a graduate scheme frequently leads to permanent employment upon completion. Often known as a fast track to management graduate training schemes can have a complex application process that must be started many months before completion of your degree.

A graduate job, like a graduate scheme, is also exclusively available to those with an undergraduate degree. However, many graduate jobs don’t have a specified grade to enable you to apply. It will also include training. Because you are undertaking a specific role, training will be more focused on your role and how it fits within the organisation. A graduate job is an offer of permanent employment from the outset (depending upon the successful completion of a probationary period). Graduate jobs are available throughout the year and can be applied for at any point. The application for a graduate job is the same as any other job application.

What is the difference between a graduate job and an entry level job?

Although you may be starting at the bottom of the career ladder so to speak, in both types of jobs there is quite a difference between a graduate position and an entry level position. 

Entry level jobs are open to anyone to apply for, including those without a university degree.

Generally an entry level job is paid less than a graduate job. The progression in an entry level job can be slow. 

A graduate job is offered specifically with progression in mind. By taking on an individual who has proven their academic ability the organisation has chosen to make an investment. A graduate job will typically pay more than an entry level position to reflect this expectation of commitment to progression within the company. 

Why choose a graduate job in a nutshell

A graduate job is a superb opportunity to get onto the career ladder of your choosing. It is less restrictive than a graduate scheme and the starting salary is usually fairly competitive. Graduate jobs are advertised through the year by organisations from all sectors. No matter what career path you have chosen there will be a graduate job for you. When you accept a graduate job you can be certain that you will be embarking upon a fulfilling career path that has been specifically designed to aid your progression.

How do I find a graduate job?

That is the easy part. Our Graduates specialise in graduate employment, working with some of the top UK graduate employers. 


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