A study published this week has announced that Warwick University has the most desirable graduates according to investment banks, law firms and consultancies. But, does it really matter which university you get your degree from?
According to the study by High Flier Research, the majority of the UK’s top 100 graduate employers (including BP, the Civil Service, IBM, Goldman Sachs, PwC, Google and HSBC) target students at 20 or fewer universities, including Nottingham, Manchester and Birmingham.
Obviously universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Warwick are always going to have a very good reputation for taking the top students. But, don’t worry; here are five reasons why going to another university is not going to end your career before it’s even started.
1. Just because a university is not at the top of the tables doesn’t mean that it is a bad university. And, in fact, those lists don’t paint a fair picture for all courses. A university may be especially good for one particular subject but that won’t be reflected in the overall rankings. So do your research – ask people who work in the field that you want to go into which universities they think train people well, where they went to university or how they got into that career.
2. A first class degree is a first class degree, no matter where it’s from. If you go to university and you work really hard and you get a first, then employers are going to be impressed. It shows that you’re dedicated and hardworking and passionate about what you do. And they’re all things that an employer would be looking for from someone they hire. So work hard and you’ll impress employers, no matter where you were studying.
3. Staff at universities lower down in the ranks are often people who have a lot of experience working practically in the field, rather than academics who have only ever studied the field. Therefore you’ll be taught by people who really understand the challenges faced by people who are working in the career you want to go into – they might even have some contacts still working in that industry who could help you.
4. Remember though, a degree is not the be all and end all. A lot of employers will be more interested in what else you’ve done outside of university and your degree. Completing placements in your chosen field will help you to learn more about the career, make some good contacts for when you’re job hunting and also help you build up your CV. So don’t stress it too much, at the end of the day, the experience on your CV is more important so get out there and get some placements sorted – or apply for some of the opportunities on GoThinkBig.
5. In fact, some careers don’t require a degree at all. As we said the other day, there are a number of good careers you can get into – including accountancy and journalism – without ever stepping foot inside a university.