On this page:
- what will a Cambridge degree prepare me for?
- about the Careers Service
- advice and information for students
- our relationship with employers
Preparation for any specific branch of employment is not the main objective of most of our educational courses. The University is of the opinion that the requirement to take specific employers' views into account when planning the curriculum would distort the aims and objectives of many Cambridge courses. However, opportunities are provided for the acquisition of transferable skills, as outlined in programme specifications, which will be useful in employment.
Some programmes do have a significant vocational or professional element (e.g. Medicine, Law), and in these cases the views of professional or statutory bodies which accredit the courses are, of course, taken into account. Details are given in the relevant programme specifications.
About the Careers Service: www.careers.cam.ac.uk
Each year the Careers Service advertises thousands of job vacancies, vacation opportunities, graduate schemes and research opportunities. Employers range from multinationals to individuals; and from corporate blue chip to less conventional 'alternatives'. Timing and methods of recruitment are extremely varied; recruitment is not over by Christmas!
Examples from just one week recently included:
A Policy Officer for the British Ecological Society, Committee Specialists for the House of Commons, Trainee Patent Attorneys for a firm of Patent Agents, Mergers and Acquisitions Analysts for a US Investment Bank, Designers and Engineers for a major motor vehicle manufacturer, a Russian-speaking Translator for an organisation monitoring forests and the environment, Trainee Tax Accountants with the Inland Revenue, a Medical Scientist for a pharmaceutical company, postgraduate study opportunities at Cranfield University, Imperial College and the University of Essex and details of a competition offered by the BBC for radio presenters and script writers.
The Careers Service is funded by the University and, unlike commercial recruitment agencies, we offer a full range of opportunities in all areas and are wholly independent. Our service to employers is free and we offer the same range of services to all the employers with whom we deal.
The Careers Service is run solely to enable you to make the right decision, not for us to make a profit. We offer a range of opportunities to meet representatives from postgraduate study course providers here in the UK, mainland Europe and the United States. Ideas, information and contacts for years out, travel and volunteering work are also available.
University of Cambridge students can use the Careers Service from the moment they arrive, throughout their time at Cambridge and at any time in their later career. Most students begin to use the Careers Service in their penultimate year, looking for vacation work experience. We promoted over 1,000 vacation opportunities last year. We'll help you make informed choices on what to do: matching your interests and skills to possible careers, working out whether (and what) postgraduate study would be appropriate, providing ample opportunities for you to meet employers informally, and guiding you through the application process.
At any stage in your academic career, you can talk to one of our Careers Advisers. We've come from a wide variety of backgrounds, most of us have worked in the sectors we're advising on, and can help you clarify your thoughts, discuss your ideas, plans and options and help you work out what to do when.
The Careers Service is in touch with over 1,500 organisations a year. They range from huge multi-nationals to private individuals and business start-ups; international and local; from conventional blue-chip to the unconventional 'alternative' organisation. We promote their vacation and work experience opportunities and short-term vacancies, but the majority of opportunities are for permanent, graduate-level or graduate track opportunities for students to start once they've finished their studies.
Each organisation is assigned a Careers Adviser as their individual point of contact and this person is ready to respond to requests for information about students and courses, offer advice on suitable events and activities and visit the organisation in order to understand it better and advise students more effectively.
An active employers' group with 120 members, known as The Careers Service Supporters Club, meets in sector groups once a year and altogether for the annual meeting in Cambridge. This forum provides a useful exchange of ideas, issues and current concerns. Several initiatives can trace their roots back to a Supporters Club meeting and a suggestion from an employer.
Employers also contribute to the management of the Careers Service through representation on its governing body, the Careers Service Syndicate.
Services provided for employers to reach students
The Careers Service provide the following to assist all employers wishing to recruit at Cambridge:.
- vacancies & opportunities is the Careers Service's searchable database of vacancies and vacation opportunities, published on the Careers Service website. Vacancies appear on the database within a few days of receipt, and remain available to students until the closing date is reached. Students can search for vacancies by keywords, career sector, type of work, location or required discipline. Once a search has been set up students can choose to receive emails of matching vacancies, either daily or weekly.
- events, careers evenings and presentations: over 420 organisations attend one of our 14 major careers events a year which are visited by a total of 6,500 students, or one of the 15 more informal, smaller, careers evenings where current practitioners (usually Cambridge alumni) meet students to discuss their career and employer. A further 200 employers visit Cambridge, usually in the evening, over the Michaelmas and Lent terms to host a recruitment presentation, open to any students interested in learning more about their company and opportunities.
- skills events and briefing sessions: the Careers Service arrange a number of skills sessions run by employers on topics such as presentation skills, effective interviews and teamworking. Employers also contribute material or speakers for one hour briefing sessions on specific occupations arranged and delivered by the Careers Service.
Full details are published in the Careers Service diary.