Career Options - QUMS

  • Career Options - QUMS

QUMS Graduate Destinations

A survey of graduates 6 months after graduation reveals that Queen's graduates from this School have recently gone into the following…

Accounting (Jobs): Trainee Accountant, Assistant Accountant, Finance Analyst, Marketing Graduate Trainee, Business Development Executive, Audit Associate, Assurance Associate, Auditor

Economics (Jobs): Operations Analyst, Data Analyst, Technology Analyst,Trade Support Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Research Consultant, Global Financial Engineer, Trainee Accountant, Trainee Supply Chain Manager, Research Assistant, Consultant, Management Consultant

Finance & Actuarial Science (Jobs): Operations Anslyst, Corporate Banking Analyst, Credit Analyst, Business Analyst, Investment Analyst, Trainee Accountant, Treasury Analyst, Project Manager, Trainee Actuary, Financial Adviser, Financial Engineer, Operations Analyst, Pricing Analyst, Trading Administrator, Graduate Actuary, Stock Broker, Fund Accountant, Consultant.

Business & Management (Jobs): Trainee Accountant, Management Trainee, Financial Adviser, Business Analyst, Compliance Co-ordinator, Technology Consultant, Financial Engineer, IT Consultant, Supply Chain Analyst, Marketing Executive, PR Officer, Graduate Management Trainee, Research Analyst, Trainee Para-Planner, Accounts Clerk, Marketing and PR Administration Officer, Business Development Executive, Associate in Deal Strategy, Forensic Financial Services Associate, Recruitment Officer, Language Consultant, Human Resources Specialist, Human Resources Graduate Trainee

Some recent Employers: Allstate, Augentius, Barclays, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, BDO, Cavanagh Kelly, Citi, Deloitte, DNT Chartered Accountants, EY, FinTrU, First Derivatives, Goldman Sachs, Grant Thornton, Harbinson Mulholland, Hill Vellacott, Hymans Robertson, KPMG, Moy Park, HMC Global, Heineken, Mercer, Milward Brown, Morgan Stanley, OCO Global, Pramerica, Prudential, PwC, State Street, Ulster Bank, Willis Towers Watson

Some Further Study Courses: Masters in Legal Science, PGCE Maths, MSc Accounting, MSc Finance, MSc Marketing and Management, MA Human Resources Management, MSc Computational Finance and Trading, MSc International Business, MSc Financial Computing

As with all programmes at all universities, some graduates have not gone into graduate level work. Recent roles have included: Call centre worker, Cleaner, Customer Service Adviser, Administration Officer and Sales Assistant

There can be many reasons to explain graduates going into non-graduate employment, including saving for further study, getting relevant work experience, wanting to take some time-out, but often it is due to a lack of career planning prior to graduating. Reviewing these careers resources and taking advantage of opportunities to Go Further will help to ensure that you fulfil your career potential. If you wish to book an appointment to discuss your options and plan your career you can do this through myfuture.

Accounting and Consultancy

Many Accounting firms offer Trainee Accountant roles and a number of the large professional services firms offer a range of graduate opportunities including Trainee Accountant, Management Consultancy and Technology Consultancy to students of any degree discipline.  

Interested students are recommended to find opportunities to build their commercial awareness and business understanding and to get an understanding of the different professional routes through researching relevant professional bodies including: ACCA, CAI, CIMA, CIPFA, CPAICAEW

There is an annual recruitment Milkround in Northern Ireland for Chartered Accountancy Training Contracts. 

There are lots of opportunities to gain relevant experience in these areas while you are a student - even from your first year. See What can you do to Go Further for suggestions. Many of these firms come onto campus several times throughout the year. Keep an eye on MyFuture for opportunities to meet with them.

Banking and Finance 

Inside Careers provides a useful overview of the ActuarialBanking and Investments and Insurance sectors. Further information about some of the different roles within these sectors can be found on the Prospects website including: Actuary, Financial Risk Analyst, Investment Analyst,  Investment Banker (Operational), Investment Banker (Corporate) and Retail Banker

There are a significant number of graduate schemes in these areas as well as opportunities for students to gain experience through placements and internships. If you are interested a role in Front Office investment banking e.g. Sales and Trading, you may find summer internships offer more relevant experience than year-long placements, however a useful strategy would be to combine both by initially applying for a year-long placement, then, while on placement, applying for a summer internship - as this will help to broaden your exposure.

This is a highly competitive area so take advantage of any opportunity to develop your business/commercial awareness. See What can you do to Go Further for suggestions.

Economist

This job profile (Economist) gives more information about what this job involves. Typical employers include the Government Economic Service, the Bank of England, banks and financial institutions, local authorities and some international organisations e.g. OECD. While graduate schemes are available with some of these institutions (notably Government Economic Service and Bank of England), it is rare for graduates to go directly into roles as an Economist with other employers – instead a postgraduate degree and work experience are often expected. Relevant work experience for students can be found with Government Economic Service, Bank of England and some banks and financial Institutions. OECD offer 6 month internships to students. Any additional opportunities to develop your business/commercial awareness would be beneficial - see What can you do to Go Further for suggestions.

Statistician

This job profile (Statistician) gives more information about what this job can involve.  Typical employers include the Government, Pharmaceutical and Contract Research Organisations, Market Research companies, banks and financial institutions. The PSI (Promoting Statistical Insight) have some leaflets with more information about statistical careers within the Pharmaceutical industry. While some graduate schemes exist (notably Government Statistical Service) many employers look for postgraduate qualifications and / or work experience for roles in this area.

Advertising, Marketing, Market Research, PR and Communications

Advertising - the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and Creative Skillset have lots of useful information about the advertising industry and careers within it. The Advertising Association has a guide to finding a job in the advertising industry.

Marketing - Getin2Marketing - a useful resource with job profiles and event listings

Market Research - find career information on the MRS (Market Research Society) website. There are a number of large Market Research organisations who recruit through graduate recruitment programmes every year e.g. IPSOS MoriGfK, plus a number of smaller organisations who have regular graduate opportunities in this area.

PR and Communications - the CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) have some career information on their website. This is a very competitive area to get into. Some of the large Communications agencies run graduate recruitment programmes e.g. KetchumChime Communications and Edelman

Many companies advertise student placements and internships in the areas of Marketing (see our Internships page). Fewer opportunities are advertised for students in the other areas mentioned above, so you may need to look beyond the main internships websites and look directly at relevant company websites or make speculative applications.

Human Resources

You can find useful background information about this type of work via the CIPD careers website and Prospects (Human Resources Officer, Training and Development Officer).  

As HR roles exist in all types of organisations, any kind of work experience is useful. Many large organisations run graduate schemes through which graduates undertake CIPD-accredited HR qualifications.  These same organisations also typically offer student internships and placement opportunities in HR, so one of the best places to find student and graduate opportunities is through typical graduate websites

 

Purchasing and Supply Chain

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) have some information about graduate careers in this area. These job profiles on the prospects site provide more information on some individual roles: Purchasing Manager, Retail Buyer, Logistics and Distribution Manager.

There are some graduate schemes in this area but student placements and internships may be harder to find. They will be advertised on the main graduate websites. For Fashion buying, employers tend to look for a Fashion-related degree.

Retail Management

In addition to running graduate schemes in many of the areas mentioned above (Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Purchasing) large retailers also run schemes in store management. That includes some of the big retailers in Ireland (Musgrave and Henderson). Employers prefer candidates who are willing to be geographically mobile. Graduate opportunities can be easily found on the main graduate websites. Placements and internships in this area are less common, but part-time work in retail is a great way to get relevant experience.

Government and Public Sector Roles

Economics graduates in particular may be drawn to roles within Government and public sector bodies as they offer opportunities to become involved in the "macro" side of economics However there are a number of popular graduate programmes and interesting roles within these organisations that will appeal to students of any degree discipline e.g. Civil Service Fast Stream which recruits for the Government Economic Service, the Government Social Research service and other Civil Service departments and the NI Civil Service. The recruiters of these programmes tend to look for evidence of a commitment to contributing to the community – which can be gained through voluntary work, and strong transferable skills such as communication and problem solving, rather than degree subject or level.

Teaching

In Schools:

A recognised teaching qualification is essential to find work in this area. The Department of Education Northern Ireland has general details about Initial Teacher Education (which includes the PGCE). While PGCE courses specialising in Accounting, Business and Economics are not offered in Northern Ireland, they are offered by training providers in other parts of the UK. Use the UCAS Teacher Training portal to find opportunities.

The Universities and Colleges offering the training have information on their websites which include how to apply and the closing dates e.g. Queen’s Initial Teacher Education (PGCE) information.

PGCE courses are competitive to get into so interested students are recommended to: 

  • Gain experience of working with young people of the age group you hope to teach – usually gained through voluntary work.
  • Keep up-to-date with what’s happening in Education via the Times Education Supplement and the Guardian’s Education section.
  • Apply early.
  • These interview tips are useful when preparing for the course interview.

Alternative Options

The Teach First Leadership Development Programme recruits high achieving graduates to work as teachers in some of the most disadvantaged schools in England and Wales.  Its 2 year programme combines this work with business skills training, internship and mentoring opportunities. At the end of the programme around 50% stay in the teaching profession in a leadership position, the other 50% are readily employed in a variety of business areas.

The JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme is an official and prestigious Japanese government scheme that sends graduates to Japan in order to promote international understanding at grass-roots level and to improve foreign language teaching in schools. Although participants teach English to school pupils, applicants for the programme can come from any degree discipline providing they hold a full UK passport.  It is a tough application process that begins in the October preceding the departure the following summer.

The TET (Teach English in Thailand) programme offers students and recent graduates a 9 week placement opportunity as a Teaching Assistant in Thailand.

In Colleges:

Although a teaching qualification is useful at the time of applying, Further Education Colleges may sometimes hire people without a teaching qualification. These teachers will often be expected to work towards a teaching qualification while working and will be expected to have other relevant (vocational) qualifications and experience to offer. Colleges list job vacancies on their own websites. You can find a list of colleges on the Department of Education Northern Ireland website.

In Higher Education:

University lecturers will normally be expected to have or be working towards a PhD. An Academic Career provides more information about this career route. Jobs and some PhD studentships can be found on Jobs.ac.uk. More PhD opportunities can be found on findaphd.com.

General Graduate Options

Approximately 50% of graduate vacancies are open graduates of any subject. Some may require some additional, specialist, post-graduate training but some do not. The list is extensive but includes fields as diverse as accountancy, IT, housing management and recruitment consultancy.  You can get an idea of the variety of opportunities plus find year-long and summer work opportunities by looking on the .

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How do I make a decision?

There isn’t one right way to make a career decision, but there are a few things worth doing and worth considering in order to make an informed choice:

  1. Don’t think you have to choose just one option – instead a shortlist of preferred options can be a useful strategy. Transferable skills can be gained from any type of work experience, so even if your work experience relates to one area, that won’t restrict you from moving into a different area.
  2. Think about what is important to you and look for evidence of those things when exploring your options e.g. if it is a priority for you to stay in Northern Ireland, look at the Relevant Job Websites for career areas that interest you to see how many job adverts you can find for that type of work here.
  3. The above are just a few of the options related to your degree area. It isn’t a comprehensive list.  Spend some time exploring the Relevant Job Websites to find other job titles and areas.
  4. Look at LinkedIn’s alumni tool (Topic 5 on the LinkedIn for students website) to see the career paths of alumni on LinkedIn.
  5. Speak to company representatives at on campus events (including fairs and employer presentations). Keep an eye on MyFuture for these opportunities.
  6. Need more information – approach any contacts you have, or speculatively approach companies, to set-up an information interview.
  7. If you’ve managed to successfully make use of an information interview, you could ask for a brief period ofwork-shadowing, i.e. observing someone while they work.  As little as a few hours of work-shadowing can give you a real insight into a job and company, and it is often easier for a company to agree to this than it would be to agree to a period of work experience.
  8. Still can’t decide? Sometimes you can only truly get a feel for whether a certain job is for you by trying it out.  Short-term work experience for students is a great method for trying-out different jobs and companies - see "What can you do to Go Further?" to find relevant opportunities.  If you are a graduate, remember, even a permanent job isn’t necessarily a job for life!

If you’d like to discuss any of this with a Careers Consultant please book an appointment through MyFuture.