MSc Admissions Blog

Advice and Information from the MSc Admissions team

Where do our Business School students get hired and what are the alternatives to graduate schemes?


In our last blog entry we looked at what the recruitment market looks like in the UK.

Here, MSc Careers Relationship Manager David Shute gives us an insight into where and how Cass students get hired, and looks at alternatives to joining graduate schemes.

Destinations of 2014/15 students

The top four recruiters of Cass MSc students in 2015 were the Big Four Professional Services firms – PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG.

Similarly, other top recruiters of Cass students in 2015 were large organisations in sectors such as Consultancy (e.g. Accenture), Banking and Financial Services (Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas), and Real Estate (JLL, Savills).

How did the class of 2014/15 find their jobs?

The largest proportion of Cass students were the 33% who found their jobs through personal contacts/networking.  This was closely followed by external job advertisements (32% of students).

8% of students found their job through a recruitment agency, while 6% of students joined a family-owned business.

Graduate schemes

For many Cass postgraduates, submitting applications for graduate trainee programmes at big organisations is commonplace.  It can be difficult to resist the lure of high starting salaries and structured training programmes.

As previously mentioned in our last blog, larger organisations tend to have more vacancies, with some of the Big Four recruiting in excess of 1,000 graduates each year.

However, competition is intense, with the leading graduate employers receiving an average of 65 applications for each graduate position…

SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises)

An alternative entry route for graduates to consider is working for a SME (Small Medium Enterprise).  The European Commission defines an 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 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK, and 59% of private sector employment.  Four out of five graduates are employed in SMEs.

What can an SME offer me?

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

  • a less time-consuming recruitment process
  • vacancies arising all-year round, usually with start dates fairly soon after selection
  • a more entrepreneurial, less hierarchical work environment
  • early responsibility and the chance to be involved in a wide range of different projects


What are the disadvantages?

Working for a SME will not suit everyone. For example, larger graduate employers typically have:

  • a status associated with working for a well-known organisation
  • more structured training programmes, support channels, and graduate trainee peer-group
  • more structured promotion prospects and enhanced salaries


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 employment agencies (often specialist), job centres, existing networks and their own or professional association websites to publicise new positions.

Significantly, 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 advantageous.

Upon joining Cass you will have access to guidance on writing speculative cover letters.


Resources on the Web

Searching for companies on the Web


Watch out for our next blog where we will be looking more in-depth at some of the different types of recruitment process and assessments you might have to under go.



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