Jobs in the Environmental sector are competitive to secure and as a graduating student you should be clear on your options, employers and next steps to help you secure positions of interest. Securing work experience in the sector prior to graduating is strongly advised and the School of Biological Sciences operate a work placement programme which will help secure this experience, students attend a number of preparation classes as part of programme to support students. As with all programmes at all universities, some graduates have gone into non-graduate level work. Recent roles have included: Shop Assistant, Call Centre Operative and Bar staff.
There can be many reasons to explain this including saving for further study, wanting to take some time-out, but often it is due to a lack of career planning prior to graduating. Final year can get busy very quickly for students, please give this process some time also. Environmental students look for jobs on particular websites dedicated to the sector, many of these websites are featured with this section.
Understanding Graduate Schemes
There isn’t a strict definition, but graduate schemes tend to be defined by the following criteria:
- Graduate schemes are not the only route to a graduate job! The vast majority of Environmental graduates find graduate level work outside of graduate schemes
- Operated by large organisations e.g. Civil Service, NHS, PwC, GSK, BT
- Fixed term – usually 18 months – 2 years. Most people are offered permanent jobs with the organisation at the end of the fixed term.
- Well paid – they usually have better pay and benefits than other graduate options.
- Competitive – when you hear in the media c.80 people applying for every graduate job, it’s generally graduate schemes they are talking about.
- Timeline – most (but not all) are open for applications in autumn and many (but not all) close by December.
- You’re unlikely to find many graduate schemes specifically mentioning Biological Science/Environmental .Some will mention a preference for graduates from Science subjects and many are open to graduates of any degree discipline.
Strategies for finding graduate jobs in the Environment sector
There are currently a lot of resources on the School of Biological Sciences Careers website which will bring to more specific information on Environment, Animal and Marine related areas. Start your research
Your approach in seeking employment will be research based and proactive, employers seeking graduates in this area are more likely to recruit via specialist websites as opposed to coming on campus – networking and gaining experience through work placements are a useful way to make useful contacts in these sectors. It can also depend on the area you are seeking employment in ie Industry or NGO? Either way the key is researching your options well, knowing the areas you could apply to and in particularly competitive areas such as conservation knowing the people within those organisations through networking, volunteering and connection via social media.
Specialist Job Boards
Environmental careers - Chartered Institute of Waste and Environmental Management
May recruit directly via their own websites.