What’s a Graduate Level Job?

If you’ve been searching for jobs for after you graduate you might have noticed that spotting which are suitable for a graduate can be tricky.

Essentially a graduate job is one which requires a degree, but beyond that it is important to be aware of the difference between ‘a job performed by a graduate‘ and ‘a job that requires the skill, knowledge, and expertise of a graduate‘.


Depending on your degree and the sector you’re interested in, you may see employers looking for graduates that fall into 3 categories…

Experts:  Knowledge-intensive occupations that require them to draw on and use their specialist HE knowledge and skills in the course of their daily work, appointed to their jobs because of these.

Examples include: Chemical Scientists, Civil Engineers, Pharmacists, Solicitors, Physiotherapists, Chartered Surveyors.

Orchestrators: are in jobs that require them to draw on and orchestrate their knowledge and/or high level skills to evaluate information, assess options, plan, make decisions and co-ordinate the contributions of others to achieve objectives.

Examples: managers and directors, senior planners and strategists in the armed services, police force and other public sector areas

Communicators require interactive skills that may be based on interpersonal skills, creative skills or high-level technological knowledge, capacity to access and manipulate information and/or an understanding of how to communicate information effectively to achieve objectives.

Examples include: Journalists, Actors, Conference and Exhibition Organisers, Web-design and Development Professionals and Marketing Associate Professionals.

 Classifying graduate occupations for the knowledge society
Elias & Purcell, Institute for Employment Research, University of Warwick February 2013

Do you recognise your skill-set, sector or ambitions in these categories?

Use these concepts to guide you and never be afraid to challenge your and others perceptions of yourself in your applications – have the confidence to apply for the bigger job.


Log on to CareerHub or visit the Employability & Careers Centre (on Square 2!) to see what skills-boosting events you could attend to  make sure that you’re top of the recruiter’s short-list for your next successful application.


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