Best Universities for Careers Services
Before you have even set foot in your first lecture (physically or online!), one of the questions that will be running through your mind is ‘will this course help me get a good job?’ Most people go to university to help move further along in their career.
However, a lot of students aren’t 100% sure what they want to do when they leave uni, never mind knowing what steps to take to secure a job. That's where the support of the university careers service comes into play. Careers services are there to support students to find their strengths and passions, and to help with job searching and recruitment preparation.
How are the Top 20 worked out?
Based on 19,323 student reviews, we’ve crunched our review scores to reveal our top 20 league table of the best universities for careers services in the UK. This is the only award decided 100% by student reviews.
What do Careers Services do?
A great university careers service will have all sorts on offer to help you get the best job possible after university. With graduate jobs becoming even more in demand, the services offered by the careers team can be almost as important as the quality of teaching or learning facilities on offer.
Careers services are a fantastic source of advice and support. They are there to help you work out your likes and dislikes, as well as your strengths and weaknesses. They can help cut through the overwhelming volume of jobs in a job search by filtering the most relevant and realistic opportunities for you. That might be through hosting regular events like Loughborough University’s (#3) annual careers fair, which is the largest in the country, or the University of Sheffield's (#4) Career on Demand platform, that provides support and advice at your fingertips.
They can also provide advice on all sorts of ways to build your CV through wider experiences and opportunities at university. Check the University of Exeter’s (#8) employability award which helps to demonstrate to employers the range of skills you have developed at university.
Remember, university career services are the experts in graduate recruitment, so fail to use them at your peril!
Don’t forget to check out each university's job prospects in our Best Universities for Job Prospects article.
Find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s Best University Awards 2021 here.
Published: 29th July 2021
University of Cambridge
“An amazing University in an amazing city!...activities to get involved with as well as many networking and career-related opportunities!”
Coming in at No. 1 in students' experience of careers support, the University of Cambridge offers career advice and guidance to their students, from the first day all the way to graduation and beyond. With an impressive range of employer connections, the careers service offers over 14 major career events a year and the opportunity to network and access tailored career and job prospect recommendations virtually too. Students and alumni are able to receive face-to-face support as well as tap into their bank of useful resources through their dedicated YouTube Channel.
Harper Adams University
"Both academic and social experiences are fantastic, Harper has opened up so many career options for me. Couldn’t see myself anywhere else!"
With its outstanding graduate employment rates, Harper Adams University students are geared for success with industry-focused course content and support all the way through their university career to make this a reality. The Careers and Placement Service offers 1-2-1 support for students during their job application process. With the great relationships the university holds with more than 700 employers, there are always a host of job postings shared directly with students. No wonder they’ve been ranked 2nd in the country by students for their excellent career service.
"Very attentive careers service encouraging all students to gain work experience through internships... to ensure graduates have enough experience to successfully apply to graduate schemes and internships."
Loughborough University’s Careers Network strive to help their students stand out from the crowd. Through offering advice and guidance on professional development, job applications, online tools and setting up a business, it’s no surprise that Loughborough remains ranked highly by students for the Careers Service provided. Students are also able to enjoy attending one of the largest careers fairs in the UK which stretches across 2 days, twice a year.
The University of Sheffield
"There is always support when needed regarding career advice, student support, financial advice and more."
From large careers fairs to smaller more focused networking events, The University of Sheffield begins supporting you in your career progression before you arrive, all the way through and up to 3 years after your time at university. With their own dedicated YouTube channel and their Careers On Demand website resource, students can access the expertise help available to them at any time. It is no wonder at all that The University of Sheffield has been ranked by students as a top 5 university for careers services.
University of Brighton
"Careers team and any staff are great with communication and any help needed!"
The University of Brighton’s Career Service offers students a wide range of services to help them identify and be successful in reaching their career goals, seeing their students reach their fullest potential. Students can easily keep up-to-date with events, workshops being held and opportunities to receive individual support via their careers blog and on social platforms. With 40 employers attending the ‘Careers in Health’ fair, students are given loads of opportunities to have their questions answered, network and grow in confidence so that they’re well positioned to step into the career that's right for them.
"Careers service is excellent, the uni offers the Bangor Employability Award which looks great on CV's."
Bangor University’s Employability Service provides a varied programme of resources, events, one-to-one support, webinars and workshops, all aimed at helping their students reach their full potential whilst at university and beyond. As a graduate of Bangor University, you would be able to tap into this support at any time for 3 years following your graduation. The service is also noted for the further support they provide for enterprising students and/or individuals facing barriers to accessing experience.
University of Liverpool
"Very good student support and career services."
Whether you’re searching for a job during your university career or after, the University of Liverpool offers amazing support to its students and graduates through its Career Studio, the UK’s first peer-to-peer employability space that is empowered by careers experts. The unique peer-to-peer approach has been proven to reduce anxiety and improve wider university integration. The Careers Service also works with faculties across the university to ensure that employability is embedded into all aspects of the student experience.
University of Exeter
"Careers service are amazing and have events each week and so many opportunities."
Providing support across both campuses, Exeter Career Zone provides 13 different career development, mentorship and employability opportunities with achievement awards available, catering to the needs of students, graduates and alumni. Students benefit from Exeter's strong partnerships within the sustainability and education sectors in particular. Whatever stage you find yourself in your career, there is plenty of support given to help you reach your employment goals with Exeter Career Zone’s provision.
University of Warwick
"The university of Warwick has so much to offer...give you a nurturing sense of belonging and the career opportunities help you discover what path you intend to follow after completing your degree..."
With the breadth of resources and services provided for students, it’s no surprise that the University of Warwick has been ranked in the top 10 by students. Students are given guidance on how to stand out from the crowd and opportunities to network and grow in confidence engaging with employers. By receiving support from professionally qualified staff both within the careers services and also within most academic departments, students receive holistic support throughout their university career.
Norwich University of the Arts
"... a useful and positive experience and introduction to the course, teaching me all the skills and programs that will be useful in the near and far future..."
Helping turn your creative talent into a great career, Norwich University of the Arts Business and Employability team provide careers advice to help you reach your goals. With academic staff who are able to bring their industry knowledge to their teaching, students are supported in their professional development holistically from their very first day. From CV guidance, portfolio advice and interview preparation, the team will help you and your work stand out from the crowd.
University of Reading
"The University of Reading are very proactive regarding the careers service that they provide for students"
With a dedicated careers, placement and employability service, students attending the University of Reading are well supported to leave with great prospects following their time at university. Expert support is also given to university staff and tutors so that students' employability is supported holistically throughout a student's university career. Furthermore, with the provision of an extensive programme of events to help students with their professional development, job application skills, networking with employers and a wealth of resources via their dedicated YouTube channel, there is something for every student to help in their job prospects both during and after their degree course.
University of St Andrews
"Amazing range of diverse students and fantastic career prospects"
St Andrews Careers Service cares about more than just if you get a job. They seek to empower their students to find their place in the world and take interest in investing in students as they work out what this looks like for them. As a student, you’ll be able to enjoy a varied programme of skills workshops, networking events, employer and alumni presentations and 3 separate careers fairs each year, specialising in law, general careers and the science and technology industry respectively. With St Andrews well established history, students enjoy being sought out by companies and organisations at events held by the Careers Service.
University of East Anglia (UEA)
"I am so glad I chose to study Law at UEA... there is a focus on career prospects right from year one. We have weekly employability sessions where we explore different career paths... and what we should be doing now to reach our goals."
UEA's Careers Service is proud to screen and showcase 10,000 opportunities per year to their students and delivers over 100 workshops each year in a variety of areas of professional development. Students benefit from potential partnerships with organisations and businesses as well as connection with Norfolk's Enterprise Hubs, providing opportunities for students and graduates in local SME businesses. The Annual ‘Working with Words’ careers event, that looks to celebrate and equip students looking to enter into creative industries, is another highlight not to be missed.
University of Glasgow
"Despite the online classes, the quality of teaching and student support at the school are excellent! The arrangement of career planning is also very good!"
With the breadth of services provided to students, the University of Glasgow’s Careers Service offers current students and graduates support in identifying and going after their career aspirations. A variety of workshops, events and coaching appointments, which are offered both virtually and in-person, can be accessed throughout your university career and until 2 years after graduating. There is also enterprise advice and support offered for those who may be interested in starting a business at university.
Imperial College London
"Career services are great!"
Helping 1,000s of undergraduate and postgraduate students every year, Imperial College London’s Careers Services offer loads of support for students before, during and after their courses. Students are guided through the process of working out what career would fit them best and then supported as they make ventures towards making that career a reality! This comes in the form of skills workshop sessions that fall into 4 themed categories, multiple specific and general careers fairs held every term and advice on all aspects of job hunting and securing employment.
"I would defo recommend the Careers Service, the team provided me with good advice and guide me on my application of postgraduate schemes!"
With their own dedicated YouTube channel, in-person and online support to students and resource-filled webpages, Newcastle’s Careers Service offers dynamic support that works to help students make the most of their skills and experience. Students are supported during and after their university careers and up to 3 years following graduation, giving plenty of time for students to access the full set of services offered.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU)
"The careers service is really good. Resources that are provided by NTU are very useful even after you graduate"
Providing support and guidance to help boost their students prospects, with the right practical skills and opportunities made available to them, Nottingham Trent University’s Employability and Careers team work hard to see their students reach their goals. And with their online presence being just as strong as their in-person services, students are able to receive help promptly and effectively. It’s no wonder that Nottingham Trent University is ranked so highly by its students for Careers support.
University of Birmingham
"Career services are very competent, and helpful. The school has a good connection with employers and hold many great events to enhance employability skills."
The University of Birmingham’s Careers Network supports students to reach their full potential through providing a range of research, employment, mentoring and internship opportunities and advice. Students attending the university are encouraged to develop their professional development skills in a wide variety of ways, not least through getting involved in some of the 200+ on-campus activities available. And with robust graduate and enterprising support programmes, students are given all the support needed to reach their career goals.
University of Portsmouth
"The Creative careers and employability services are fantastic for finding part time work, graduate positions and work placements."
The University of Portsmouth's Careers and Employability Service offers a wide breadth of services to students. Support is available from the day they start their studies and for 5 years after graduation. Students can get help to identify their career goals, be more successful in applying for jobs, or even set up their own enterprise. The expert team also runs regular events to increase students' confidence in the job market, and provide networking opportunities so that employers can spot students’ talents.
"...law at Durham offers good careers prospects and an excellent careers team."
The Careers Employability and Enterprise Team at Durham University are well equipped to help you identify the career sectors to explore and then ensure that your application stands out from the crowd when you’ve found the job postings that are for you. If you had your eyes set on potentially starting up a business, support is provided for to see your ideas come to life. You can win up to £5,000 of start-up funding in their Blueprint Startup Challenge.
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