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Graduate schemes

Graduate schemes

By Uktong Team 10/16/2017

What does graduate scheme mean?

Graduate schemes which are also called graduate programs are a mix of professional training and the actual job.
Every scheme has its own defined structure and time frame which is what makes it different from the wider concept of graduate jobs. An employer can run various types of training programs within one organization, one for each section of the company. They can sometimes be required to get the actual job and will help you get the best qualifications.

What are graduate schemes looking for?

Through the application process a number of your skill will be tested and measured. Firstly you have to have good qualifications from your university. But more than that you’re abilities and ideas will play a significant role. Are you good at teamwork or can you handle a leadership role? How do you deal under pursue and do you have good networking skills? The graduate scheme will help you develop your skills and professional career but in order to get into one you have to show that you’ll be beneficial to them.

What kind of graduate schemes are there?

There are three basic types of graduate schemes. The rotational graduate scheme is one of the most popular types. You’ll be put in a management or leadership position and given the opportunity to gain experience across a range of parts of the company. This can include different departments or even countries
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Another popular type of scheme is the ‘technical expert scheme’. Accounting, Engineering and Law are usually the professions that offer this type of scheme. The difference is you’ll be working within one department and will acquire a very specific skill set. You can rotate to different roles within the department.

The third one is the project based graduate scheme and it’s a happy mix of the previous two. You will be located within one department or project in your field but you’ll have to work or over see other locations and areas of the company that are involved with your job or project. Sales based graduate programs could fall into this bracket.

What graduate scheme is right for me?

At first you may be tempted to apply to the biggest companies and the most competitive graduate schemes but you should be careful. Why should know why are you applying for this position and make sure it’s the one you want or think you have a chance of getting into. The process will be long and pretty tiring so you have to be up for it. Also make sure you research the terms and conditions of the position you’re applying for and that it suits your need or that you can actually meet those requirements.

Why do companies have graduate schemes?

Companies have many benefits from offering graduate schemes. The first one is working with talented people who have a university diploma and are interested in continuing to work for their company. During their scheme they will get used to the way the company works and if they show dedication and valuable skill the will be able to benefit the company. Also graduates provide an opportunity for fresh ideas and developments to be made. Since the technology and innovations in today’s world are always changing they will be the best people to have in your business that can deal with this progress.

Why graduate schemes are good?

Graduate schemes are the best way you can improve and acquire the skills needed for your future profession. You will work in a structured environment and get practical experience in your field. Whether you work alone on the assignments or work in a larger team you will get to see and learn what is the structure and organization of your job. Also they offer incredible opportunities for socializing and networking which is one of the most important parts of professional life. 

Why graduate schemes are bad?

There are a couple of bad sides to graduate schemes. The first one being that the competition for the best positions is fierce and many applicants won’t get in. Also the numbers of places available on is affected by the economy and the direction of the company. Although currently the economy is stable and the number of positions is increasing that may not last for long.

The application process can be exhausting and difficult too. You’ll have several rounds and the competition will increase with each one.  International students applying to smaller companies and positions can find that they are not prepared to handle visa issues.

Also keep in mind that you’re not necessarily guaranteed a job at the end of a graduate scheme but if you excel during them the firms will want to keep you.


What do graduate schemes offer?

Depending on the type of career you’re getting into graduate schemes can offer major benefits and will directly assist you in qualifying to practice professionally. Some programs will offer you options to relocate to different overseas cities or other parts of the UK. Before you apply for a specific graduate scheme make sure that you’re aware of how much mobility and traveling it requires. If you want to you can also choose the ones that are based in your town and don’t need you to relocate.


How to find graduate schemes?

Employers will promote their graduate schemes online. There are quite a few sites that have the best graduate schemes in the UK on their pages. One of them is targetjobs.co.uk so make sure you check out their offers. This way you can easily apply for the position in a way that’s independent from your university. A large number of employers you can find on campus during the autumn and spring terms. They organize events and presentations to attract applicants.

How long are graduate schemes?

Graduate schemes typically last one year but can extend up to years in some cases.  It depends on what the position you’re applying to is and also on the employer.

When do graduate schemes start?

The usual application deadline is between November and December for programs starting the following September or October. It’s best to apply for them in the beginning of the first term of your final year of studies. Even though some for some programs you can apply during the whole year it’s best to apply as early as possible. Some companies will close the application if they meet the required number of applicants even though the information says the application will be opened all year round.


How many graduate schemes should I apply to?

There are all different kinds of graduate schemes available and not all of them will suit everyone. Make sure you research well before you make your decision. You can apply to just one but if better to apply to a few. Make sure you have a chance of getting in based on your qualifications and previous experiences of applicants. The application process itself is very easy. You’ll probably have to send your CV and a motivational letter. After that you’ll go through a mixture of assessment days, telephone interviews and interviews.

You may also be asked to undergo different online tests. It all depends on the position. But the most important thing is to apply as early as possible for all the schemes you chose.

Graduate scheme without internship?

If you don’t have any previous experience getting into a graduate scheme can seem impossible but it’s not. It all depends on how strong your application is. Having previously been an intern is usually not a requirement.

Graduate schemes without ucas requirement?

All schemes require that you’ve taken the UCAS test but depending on the company your score might not be important. Employers have shifted their focus from good grades and high UCAS score to more practical skills and the ability to innovate and adapt. So if your grades aren’t that great and or if you have a low UCAS score you still have a chance. But you’ll really have to prove yourself during the application process. The students that have better qualifications are given advantage for passing the application process but in the end everyone has a chance.

Graduate schemes without a degree?

If you don’t get your university degree or you drop out you’re not eligible for graduate schemes, they’re meant for students graduation university but you can still get many of the same jobs as graduates since you have more time to dedicate to your career.

Hardest graduate schemes to get on?

According to previous experiences with graduate schemes the hardest ones to get into are the schemes in London. The competition is extremely big and everybody wants to get in. Also big and established companies that are very profitable in terms of future jobs are swamped with hundreds and thousands applications every year.

By UKtong Team 10/16/2017UKtong Info