Graduate careers in the UK for Singaporeans
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE JOBS AVAILABLE TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AFTER GRADUATION
In the UK, EU students are not required to have a visa to study or work, unlike non-EU students like Singaporeans. However, as the fastest growing economy in Western Europe, the good news is there is room for us to contribute to the work force after graduation.
THE GRADUATE MARKET
At its strongest since 2007, the graduate market in the service sector created jobs at the fastest rate in four months. Creative industries, which make up 5.6% of the overall workforce, drive the sector through film, television and music. Additionally, a 94.4% employment growth in the public sector is observed. The list of bright prospective careers in the various sectors (with their respective graduate employment rate) include:
REMAINING IN THE UK TO WORK
You are allowed to stay in the UK after your student visa expires, but this varies depending on your study programme. Programmes that last for one year or more usually permits students to stay for 4 months, during which you are expected to extend your visa or switch to another visa category.
As non-EU students, we are required to apply for a work visa to stay and work in the country. You may wish to Check if you are an EU student. To apply for a visa, you have to either be offered a professional job whilst still on your student visa, or meet specific investment or skill requirments.
Based on the Immigration UK website, there are highly specific eligibility requirements for each visa, consisting of different fees, required documents, processing times and permitted durations of stay in the UK. The two general categories of work visas are:
1. Tier 1 Work Visa
Students with outstanding entreprenuerial qualities, substantial intention to invest in the UK or are endorsed by an accredited body for their exceptional talent in a particular field, stand to qualify for this visa.
2. Tier 2 Work Visa
This applies to students who have been offered jobs before their student visas expire, although there are a number of subcategories for each visa type depending on your specific circumstances. Generally, in order to be eligible for this, you are expected to be offered a job of professional calibre that pays a minimum salary of £20,500 (around S$42,400) before your visa expires.
Understanding your field of interest, its key players and current state of affairs are recommended. The RBA website offers links to diverse industry reports and statistics, whilst the UK National Statistics site gives an overview of the labour market. Additionally, free online search engines such as Jobsite.co.uk, Monster or TotalJobs offer job vacancies in almost any discipline, with more specific needs or search difficulties requiring you to pay for a recruitment service. However, do approach these paid services with caution.
To support you in finding the right direction, use the facilities and services offered by your host universities, or the UK government’s thorough list of links. Specifically, Mediargh caters to Media and Communications graduates, and Just Engineers for students from Engineering. You can also look up The Guardian or The Times for job ads, or consult Job Centre Plus: the national department for work and pensions.
More on this topic can be found in these relevant links:
Full-time student at London College of Fashion, freelance editor at Hotcourses Singapore, and feaster on all things visual and gastronomic