MSc Admissions Blog

Advice and Information from the MSc Admissions team

Where and how do our Business School students get hired?


In our last blog entry we looked at the graduate recruitment market in the UK and what it takes to secure a place on a graduate trainee programme. In our next blog, Relationship Manager-David Shute, gives us an insight into where and how Cass students get hired as well as a more in-depth look at alternatives to joining graduate trainee programmes.


So where do Cass students get hired?

You only have to browse the alumni pages of Cass Business School on LinkedIn to see the diverse range of industries, job roles and countries that our students work in and this is reflected in our annual survey of destinations of Cass Post Graduates.

Looking at our most recent survey of the graduating Class of 2014, the top four recruiters of Cass MSc students were the ‘Big Four’ Professional Services firms – PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG, which perhaps reflects the volume of graduates that these employers recruit for. For example PwC was the UK’s second largest employer of graduates in 2014 reporting that they will be taking on 1,570 graduates this summer.

Similarly, other top recruiters of Cass students in 2014 were large organisations in sectors such as Consultancy (e.g. Accenture, Capita), Banking and Financial Services (e.g. JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, RBS, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group), and Real Estate (CBRE, Jones Lang LaSalle).

These, again, are large organisations and as such will recruit in higher numbers compared to smaller organisations and taking a further look at our data for the class of 2014 many are employed by Small to Medium Enterprises and include: Cambridge Guarantee Group, SCIO Capital and Stephanie Churchill PR.

What Industries do Cass students typically go into?

Not surprisingly a large number of the class of 2014 Cass students were employed within the Financial Services sector, whether that be Accounting, Corporate Banking, Asset Management or Insurance & Pensions, to name  a few. We also have a number of students working in consulting. What is interesting is the range of industries that students are employed in ranging from Government Agencies, Utilities companies, Real Estate and the Manufacturing industries.


What types of job do they do?

What level students enter an organisation will typically depend on how much experience they have within that industry. We would categorise someone as an experienced hire candidate (i.e. not entry level) if they have 2 or more years’ experience in the same industry as they are applying to, although there can be exceptions to this.

Looking broadly at our data students with 0-2 years’ worth of experience these students tend to join organisations at an ‘entry’ level. Typical job titles have included: Structured Products Analyst, Investment Analyst, Precious Metals Analyst, Cross Asset Solutions Trainee, Graduate Surveyor, Junior Brand Manager and Trainee Tanker Broker.


How did the class of 2014 find their jobs?

Interestingly the largest proportion of Cass students were the 33% who found their jobs through personal contacts/networking, highlight the importance of incorporating this method into your job search strategy.  This percentage was higher than the more traditional medium of external job advertisements, e.g. online or print (25% of students).  A further 6% were employed via recruitment agencies. Students also found jobs via the annual careers fair, conducting their thesis project through the organisation and through engagement with employers and company representatives on campus at Cass.

In our previous blog we also discussed what the alternative to joining a graduate scheme might be. For those of you who might be coming to Cass with previous work experience, graduate trainee schemes might not be the right option for you. If you are not sure then it’s advisable to speak to your relationship manager in the careers team to discuss this.

Regardless of level of experience one thing we do get Cass students to think about is the alternatives to applying for well-known names within the sector they are interested in.


So where else can I apply and search for jobs?

An alternative entry route for students is to consider working for a SME (Small Medium Enterprise).  The European Commission defines a SME as an organisation that employs fewer than 250 staff and has a turnover of less than 50 million Euros. There are an estimated 4.9 million SMEs in the UK, employing 24.3 million people. SMEs account for 59% of private sector employment in the UK, and four out of five graduates are employed in SMEs.


What can a SME offer me?

Working for a SME can offer a range of benefits potentially including:

  • a less time-consuming selection process
  • a more entrepreneurial, less hierarchical work environment
  • the chance to become involved in a wide range of different projects, useful in helping you decide where your strengths and interests lie
  • early opportunities for responsibility, promotion and career advancement
  • more direct personal contact with senior management, and a higher profile within the company – you are not just a face in a large crowd
  • working closely with a small team and client group


How do I access the SME job market?

Unlike large scale organisations, SMEs prefer to advertise in local, regional or specialist publications.  Many employers in this category use recruitment agencies (often specialist), existing networks and their own or professional association websites to publicise positions.

Approximately a third of SMEs rely on speculative applications from individuals who have researched the industry and the company and apply for a position, despite there being no vacancy. Therefore, a proactive approach, in which you contact companies directly rather than waiting to respond to advertisements, is an advantage.

Where can I start my search?

To begin your research on SME’s we have included a number of links below to get you started:


In our next blog we’ll be taking a look at the some of the latest developments in the recruitment process as well as what you can do to prepare!

Questions for the careers team? Drop us an email


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