Graduate Job? Graduate Scheme? What are we actually referring to?

 Although ‘graduate schemes’ and ‘graduate job’ are terms which are frequently used, let’s have a look at what they actually involve.

Graduate scheme:

‘Graduate Schemes’ can vary enormously from those offered by well-known multinationals who recruit graduates into a range of schemes to smaller employers recruiting just one or two students each year.

Aside from requiring a degree to apply, graduate schemes tend to include the following features:

  •  12-24 months duration
  • Professional qualifications sometimes available
  • Designed as a ‘fast-track’ route into management or professional positions

Graduate Job:

 At first glance this seems easy to define: a graduate job is perhaps ‘a job you need a degree for’. However with large numbers of graduates holding jobs where a degree is not strictly required and an increasing variety of professions requiring degree level qualifications, the distinction between ‘graduate’ and ‘non-graduate’ jobs is not always straight forward.

Recently graduate jobs have been split into three categories:

 Expert: Jobs where specialist HE knowledge and/or high level skills are required e.g. Chemical Scientist, Civil Engineer, Pharmacist, Solicitor, Airline Pilot

 Strategist: Managers/Directors and Senior Officers in the police, armed forces or public sector

Communicator: Journalist, Actor, Conference/Exhibition Organiser, Web-designer

Based on this new distinction, it follows that jobs would be classed as ‘non-graduate’ if they don’t fall into any of these categories.

Whether you enter work via a more traditional route such as a graduate training scheme, via an entry level role or via a non-graduate position, employers like to hire graduates as they bring higher level skills and knowledge, a capacity to learn and process lots of information.  Whichever entry point you take there are always ways in which you can progress your career.

If you would like to discuss your own situation and plan ahead to achieve your goal book an appointment with a Career Consultant.


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