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Finding Advertised Opportunities | The Careers Service Finding Advertised Opportunities – Oxford University Careers Service
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Graduate schemes

The most prominent type of graduate jobs advertised around Oxford are graduate schemes: formal training programmes that typically mix early responsibility with training and support from mentors, and often give trainees an insight into various aspects of a business. Typically, graduate schemes are offered by large organisations which can predict their human resources needs well in advance, and can commit to an annual intake.

Which sectors have graduate schemes

Graduate schemes can be found in most sectors of the economy. However, they are most common in:

  • professions which require a professional qualification, gained through training (such as accountancy and law);
  • sectors dominated by large organisations (such as banking, consultancy, retail and consumer goods);
  • professions which require you to accumulate technical knowledge (such as engineering and IT).

They are least common in sectors dominated by small organisations – such as charities, museums and publishing.

Where to search

You can find out information about graduate schemes using:

  • Publications such as The Guardian 300 or The Times 100 (free hard copies available at the Careers Service).
  • Our career fairs, particularly those in Michaelmas term.
  • The Oxford Guide to Careers (free copies available at the Careers Service), which includes listings of many graduate schemes.
  • The sector overviews on our website include links to job boards and graduate opportunities in the “External Resources” section for each sector.
  • Employer presentations – these are advertised on CareerConnect, and the majority take place during Michaelmas term.
  • The websites of individual organisations.
  • LinkedIn Jobs

There can be a temptation, when applying to graduate schemes, to favour the well-known, well-advertised organisations. There can be advantages to starting your career working for a smaller firm, however: early responsibility is likely to be greater, and you are likely to get a more holistic understanding of the business.

When to search

One year ahead

Graduate schemes open up their application process as early as the summer before the scheme starts; sometimes closing in late October. Michaelmas is therefore particularly busy – with employers advertising their schemes via our fairs, presentations and other activities across Oxford. The ‘Milkround’, as this period of graduate recruitment is known, is busiest in the first few weeks of Michaelmas. Deadlines tend to be around November and December with a few falling after Christmas and into the early part of January.

Penultimate year summer

In some sectors, particularly in banking and consultancy, the application window is earlier; for example, July – October. The Careers Service holds a ‘Graduate Jobs and Internship Opportunities’ fair in Trinity term for penultimate year students looking at making early applications.

Get in earlier if you can

Larger organisations will sometimes indicate that they recruit on a ‘rolling basis’ – filling vacancies as they receive suitable applications – so early applications are often advantageous. Don’t leave it to the last minute!

Two years ahead?

Some companies, particularly ‘City’ sectors (law, finance and consultancy), actively use internships as an additional way to find graduate recruits.

As such, if you’re interested in working for a large City firm, it’s a good idea to try and get an internship in your penultimate year, and treat it like a summer-long job interview.

Graduate jobs (stand-alone roles)

The majority of graduate-level jobs do not take the form of graduate schemes. Instead, they are specific positions within an organisation, and can be found in all sectors.

Even organisations that have graduate schemes may advertise graduate-level positions outside their graduate schemes.

Where to search

Online job boards

Almost all graduate-level jobs that don’t fall in graduate schemes will be advertised in online job boards. For example:

  • CareerConnect – our vacancy database, just for Oxford students, alumni and research staff.
  • National jobs boards aimed at graduates, such as Prospects and TARGETjobs, Joblift and Adzuna or apps such as Debut.
  • Sites for specific sectors, such as (for jobs in universities), W4MP (for the public and third sectors), or Arts Jobs (for a wide range of arts and heritage positions).
  • Use the relevant sector pages of our website for detailed job hunting tips
  • National newspapers often have job databases on their websites.
  • The websites of individual organisations of interest.

Career Fairs

Some of the organisations that attend our career fairs are recruiting for specific positions, rather than for graduate schemes. This is particularly common in Trinity Term.

When to search

Organisations normally recruit for non-graduate-scheme positions a few months before they need someone to start work – and positions are advertised year round. As such, students would be unlikely to find many suitable opportunities in the Michaelmas of their final year, as they won’t be available to start work soon enough. Start looking late in Hilary, over the Easter break, and throughout Trinity term.

Academic & Research Vacancies


The most comprehensive resource for jobs in UK Higher Education institutes, with some international vacancies also posted, is The main US site is Higher Ed Jobs.

QS Academic International Mobility lets you search for international positions and offers advice on building your academic career abroad.

Academic vacancies can also be found in the Times Higher Education Supplement*, and science research jobs in HE, industry and government are advertised in Nature and New Scientist*.  *If you would like to read hard copies of these magazines, you will find them in the Careers Service reception.

Funding Opportunities

  • Research Professional — Database of funding opportunities which the University subscribes to.
  • Funding for Early Career Researchers — Funding opportunities aimed particularly at postgraduate researchers and early-stage postdoctoral researchers.
  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) – Portal for all the UK Research Councils. Check for scholarships, awards and some jobs.
  • Research Services — Information on research grant funding, consultancies and research-related policies (including intellectual property, conflict of interest and academic integrity in research).

See our Finding Work Experience page for information on finding internships.


Video Resources

How do you get your dream job?

Careers adviser Jonathan Black tells you how to get the job you really want, are good at, and that pays the bills. Watch the Financial Times video here.

Career Starters – Learn how to get your career off to a great start

This information was last updated on 06 September 2019.
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Recent blogs about Finding Advertised Opportunities

Science, Engineering & Technology Fair 2019

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 25/09/2019.

WHEN: Saturday 2 November, Exhibitors between 11:00-14:30
WHERE: Examination Schools, Oxford, OX1 4BG
👍 Add the event to your Facebook calendar

The Science, Engineering and Technology Fair is your opportunity to find out more about internships and graduate roles with organisations from a wide range of technical areas including energy, engineering consultancy, science R&D, patent work, IT, transport and many others. The event is open to all Oxford University students, particularly those studying science, engineering, computing or maths, including undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers.

In addition to the main fair there will also be an opportunity to attend various talks, talk details will be available closer to the event. Careers advisers will also be on hand to answer your questions.

Meet more than 80 recruiters

Organisations attending range from leading global companies to specialist technology firms. For the full list of employers, read the fair booklet.

Get your CV checked at our CV clinic

Get one-to-one feedback from visiting recruiters. Just bring your CV and turn up! Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pre-fair talks

  • 10:00-10:45 | Disability @ the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. Book your place.
  • 10:00-11:00 | Researchers @ the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. Book your place.
  • 10:00-11:00 | Alumni @ the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. Book your place.
  • 10:30-11:00 | Finding Scientific and Technical Internships

Fair talks

  • 11:15-12:00 | Careers in Conservation, Ecology and Sustainability
  • 12:15-13:00 | Science Policy and Communications
  • 13:15-14:00 | Working in Pharma and Biotech

Don’t forget to bring your Bod card with you on the day! 

ECI Sustainability training – places available

Posted on behalf of Environmental Change Institute. Blogged by Rachel Ruscombe-King on 03/04/2019.

Every year, the Environmental Change Institute, in collaboration with the School of Geography and the Environment of the University of Oxford organises the Training Better Leaders course. The training takes place over 3 days  and is open to all students at Oxford University who want to get a better understanding of global environmental sustainability.

The programme comprises a range of expert panels, workshops and role play with presenters from the public, private and not-for-profits sectors. The course enables participants to improve their sustainability literacy and skills, and equips them with the tools they need going forward into global leadership roles.

This year the TBL will take place 24 – 26 April at a cost of £20 for the full three days. There are only 10 places left, and we’re looking to recruit a wide range of backgrounds and interests in sustainability. Apply now to avoid disappointment!

TOPICS: climate change, food waste, circular economy, women’s empowerment, supply chain, community action, leadership skills, innovation, networking, communication.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch with the ECI at any time. And if you want to be the first person to hear about news and opportunities coming up, subscribe to the ECI mailing list and join the TBL Facebook group!

Competition: Bring your green ideas to life!

Posted on behalf of Schneider Electric. Blogged by Hugh Nicholson-Lailey on 29/03/2019.

Go Green in the City 2019 is open to two-member teams from anywhere in the world.

#WhatsYourBoldIdea Schneider Electric are on the lookout for bold ideas that can shape the future of their industry and the company’s position as a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation. Put your skills and ideas to the test against students from around the world.

Choose from 4 categories:

  • Sustainability & Access to Energy: Digitising the energy business and enabling access to energy or sustainable developments.
  • Buildings of the Future: Can buildings be smarter, more sustainable and incorporate new technologies?
  • Plants of the Future: Apply IoT, AI, Machine Learning and more to the industries of the present or future.
  • Grids of the Future: Imagine the future of energy management and distribution!

What could you win?

The top eight teams will be invited on a fully sponsored trip to the Schneider Electric Global Innovation Summit in Barcelona 1-5 October 2019 to pitch for the Grand Prize and an invitation to interview for Schneider Electric’s Internship Program.

The winning team will win the chance to work with Schneider Electric, and an all-inclusive international trip to two cities of their choice (where Schneider Electric has offices).

Application Details

Register online and submit your first round proposal by 25 May 2019.

Get a head start @ Saturday’s Science Fair

Blogged by Rachel Bray on 25/10/2018.

Keen to make the most of this year’s Science Careers Fair? Unsure how to approach employers?

Join us for Researchers@,a pre-fair hour, just for research students/staff, in which we’ll both:

  • hear from an employer about their recruitment priorities, work-place culture, plus what researchers do in their company and find most interesting (with time for questions);
  • discuss the experience of talking to science-trained employees and recruiters, identify pertinent questions and how best to present your experience and skills.

Book now as few places left:

When: Saturday 27 October, 10.00 – 11.00
Where: Examination Schools (Room 12)

Science, Engineering & Technology Fair 2018

Blogged by Corina Lacurezeanu on 17/10/2018.

  • When: Saturday 27 October, Exhibitors from 11:00-14:30
  • Where: Examination Schools, Oxford

Full details are in the fair booklet – now available to download.

Get advice at our sector talks

  • Alumni @ the Science, Engineering & Technology Fair, 10:00 – 11:00
  • Researchers @ the Science, Engineering and Technology Fair, 10:00 – 11:00
  • Finding Scientific and Technical Internships, 10:30 – 11:00
  • Spin-Outs and Start-Ups ,11:15 – 12:00
  • Science Policy and Communications, 12:15 – 13:00
  • What do sustainable science careers look like? Jobs with social and environmental impact, 13:15 – 14:00

Get your CV checked at our CV clinic

  • Bring your CV and get one-to-one feedback from visiting recruiters;
  • Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Meet almost 100 recruiters

For the full list of employers, read the fair booklet.

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