Best Universities for Careers Services 2022
We are delighted to announce the top 20 UK universities in 2022 for careers services based on StudentCrowd reviews!
What is a careers service and what do they do?
A careers service is run by a team of professionals that support students throughout their higher education journey. They help students make the right decisions, increase proactivity, promote skill development and improve job prospects.
One of the main reasons students choose to go to university is to improve their job prospects, so a good careers service can go a long way to helping them improve their employability.
A good university careers service will start developing a students’ skills from the moment they start studying and will get them considering different career options. They will provide advice about career paths and potential job options to help students choose the best career for them. Some career services run awards to help improve employability through skill development and work experience like the University of Greenwich (#8). They will even give recommendations on LinkedIn if students complete the award. Many universities will have online resources to help prepare students for employment, like the University of Cambridge’s (#1) extensive bank of resources available on demand through their proprietary YouTube channel.
CV-proofing is usually offered through online portals to help pick up errors and optimise applications for specific jobs. Many careers services will offer one-to-one appointments where they can run practise interviews and offer specific career mentoring. In addition to providing thousands of graduate job vacancies for students to browse, careers services will provide networking opportunities and host events. The University of Reading (#4) runs the region’s largest graduate recruitment fairs biannually.
Careers services support students throughout university and foster independence, self-improvement and employability and, consequently, improve job prospects. Importantly, many offer support and resources post-graduation too, so if students want to take a break or go travelling after university, the team will still be available to give them the best chance at securing a good job. For example, the University of Bristol’s (#18) career service will provide support up to three years after graduation.
Are university rankings and university league tables useful for determining how good a career service is?
Student opinions in the form of university reviews are vital because a careers service cannot be quantified like graduate outcome percentages and yet are a crucial way of harnessing the benefits of a degree. A student’s experience of a careers service can give you real insight into the quality and assistance they provide and how well graduates do as a result. The league table below is entirely based on real students' opinions.
How is the top 20 league table worked out?
We’ve crunched the numbers on 15,871 student reviews submitted on StudentCrowd between June 2020 to May 2022 to find out the best universities for careers services. The annual StudentCrowd University Awards are the only awards entirely based on authentic student reviews. Here at StudentCrowd we only allow reviews verified by a valid ac.uk email address, to ensure all the opinions on our site are expressed by real students. You can read more about our authentic review process here. We can now reveal the top 20 universities for careers services in our league table below!
Find out more…
Check out our award for Best Universities for Job Prospects 2022, as this can outline how effectively careers services and teaching quality can help graduate job prospects.
Find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s Best UK Universities 2022 here.
The Top 20 UK Universities for Careers Services
“The course is engaging and it opens many doors for careers later on.”
The University of Cambridge careers service tops our league table for the second year running! Cambridge offers over 13 careers events a year with in-person and virtual viewing available. Cambridge’s impressive range of employer connections, combined with face-to-face support and an extensive bank of resources through their YouTube channel, unite to create a top tier careers service. Careers support doesn’t stop at graduation either, so graduates can continue to use their resources as an alumni.
“...The university is highly-respected by employers nationwide, and as such internships, graduate schemes, placements and career opportunities are plentiful. Career services encourage students to participate, and prepare them with the skills to excel...”
The University of Manchester’s award-winning careers service will help students find a graduate job and assistance securing a part-time job or relevant work experience. They run practical skill development courses, workshops and offer an interactive AI tool to boost CVs. They run employer events, various opportunities to meet professionals and help to prepare effective job applications. Alumni can continue to use the careers service for two years after graduation.
“...There is always support when needed regarding career advice, student support...”
With their own dedicated YouTube Channel and their Careers On Demand website, The University of Sheffield’s innovative careers team helps students decide everything from what they want to do, to getting their ideal job as a graduate. They offer a wide range of in-person and virtual events, including careers talks, appointments, interactive workshops, presentations and large-scale employer fairs. The careers service continues to offer these resources for three years after graduation.
“...The University of Reading are very proactive regarding the careers service that they provide for students.”
The University of Reading’s careers advisory service offers one-to-one guidance, information and coaching to all of their undergraduates, along with the 'Career Management Skills' online programme. Over 1,500 employment-related web links are available to facilitate job-finding. They also run large graduate recruitment fairs annually. Their guidance helps students to find suitable careers and job opportunities, complete applications and develop the skills to perform well in interviews.
“...The University of Reading are very proactive regarding the careers service that they provide for students.”
From the first day at Imperial, students are able to book onto events, one-to-one appointments and browse job vacancies. Imperial’s careers service host or advertise hundreds of events each term to aid students’ career journeys, from skills training, workshops, careers fairs, employer events and careers forums to networking via alumni associates. They have a range of online resources and publications, presentations and employer events to help students explore and reach their career goals. Imperial’s global alumni associations help students to network and explore further opportunities.
“...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 boasts an impressive 200+ on-campus activities, including workshops, fairs and one-to-one consultations to help students develop their skills. Their careers network supports students through a range of research, employment, mentoring, advice and internship/placement opportunities. They also run a program called 'The Personal Skills Award', which helps students recognise, develop and articulate their skills, in preparation for the future. Graduates also enjoy full access to the range of support from the careers network.
“... Career support has improved my professional abilities to some extent...”
The introduction of the 'Career Studio', the UK's first peer-to-peer employability space, has changed the way employability is delivered at the University of Liverpool. Their career coaches and employability experts ensure every student gets exposed to the right experiences to develop their skills and expertise for their career. Their unique approach has been shown to reduce anxiety and enhance wider university integration. Students have the opportunity to attend a wide range of careers events to help inspire, meet like-minded professionals/employers and build up a professional network.
“University of Greenwich is underrated university![...]University's employability services helped me to find a placement, prepared me for interviews and even checked my cv and cover letter. On the top of that they organise multiple seminars and workshops to improve your employability skills which is essential for such a competitive job market in London.”
The University of Greenwich provides placement opportunities, careers fairs, CV and cover letter checks, interview support, advice and guidance. Their careers service also has an initiative called the 'Greenwich Employability Passport'. The passport helps students build career skills and experience, so they are ready for the workplace upon graduation. Once students have provided evidence of their activities, they are awarded passport points, which helps them to unlock rewards such as exclusive networking events. If a student manages to reach 200 points, they receive a university recommendation on LinkedIn which can really boost their profile.
“This course offer experience which is valuable when getting jobs”
Bangor has a team of dedicated professionals which offer a vast array of resources for students including CV guidance, appointments with employability advisors, part-time job opportunities, internship schemes and interview preparation. Students are encouraged to use these resources to work towards the 'Bangor Employability Award'. One-to-one support, webinars and workshops help students to work towards their full potential. Bangor’s graduates can also take advantage of a ‘for-life’ account, offering a host of tools, resources and opportunities, with extra support and resources for three years after leaving.
“...Amazing range of diverse students and fantastic career prospects...”
The 'Careers Centre' offers confidential advice throughout a student's time at the university to enable realistic plans and well-informed decision-making, along with encouraging students to use the support and opportunities available. Any student is able to book an appointment with a careers advisor to seek further advice. Students can also attend skills workshops, networking events, employer and alumni presentations and three separate careers events throughout the year. As a graduate, St Andrew’s Careers Centre will continue to support graduates for up to three years after graduation.
“Has strong professional knowledge and skills training courses. [...] to provide more opportunities for future employment.”
RGU’s career team offers a variety of support to students, including helping them to explore career options, finding part-time jobs and internships, developing your CV and cover letter, preparing for interviews and assessment centres and applying for placements and study abroad schemes. They offer a tool called 'The Career Tracker' which allows you to evaluate your career confidence and provides you with targeted information and tools to improve employability. Careers related videos also allow you to work towards the 'RGU Employability Award' and help you succeed. The careers team also meets with prospective students to provide information and advice on likely career outcomes for courses of interest.
“Great university! Business School career services are great!”
The University of Warwick has been rated to have one of the best careers services by students, due to the large variety of resources and services provided. The 'Warwick Award' pilot scheme has run this summer which is a free award that allows students to develop their own skills, find hundreds of events and opportunities taking place across the university and make new connections with the goal of improving employability. The careers service help students improve their CV, write a cover letter, prepare for interviews and tests and find job vacancies. Warwick graduates can also attend events and virtual appointments up to two years after graduation with access to platforms to help practise assessments, interviews and interview responses.
“...Career services was excellent [...] which provide you support in interviews, personal statements, visa and whatever concerns you might have for your student life.”
Cardiff University’s specialised careers advisors help students map out their future careers and prepare for life after university. They offer one-to-one advice, provide access to workshops to boost employability and help student to pick careers, search for jobs, prepare for interviews and write applications. The careers services’ excellent connections have allowed students to secure placements with over 100 multinational, SME and local employers. Cardiff alumni can also get personal careers advice for up to three years after their course end dates. That includes access to resource, support, two career coaching sessions, two mock interviews, CV and cover letter feedback and more.
“...The level of education provided is amazing and the job prospects post uni are so rich and diverse”
Newcastle University has a great online portal called 'MyCareer', where you can sign up for events, book career appointments and search for work experience, part-time and graduate jobs. Newcastle’s careers service provides dynamic support in the form of a dedicated YouTube channel, appointments with advisors and direct feedback on CVs and cover letters. You can also attend a variety of workshops to boost your employability, including dedicated workshops on being placement-ready and how to start your own business. With over 3,000 vacancies, work experience and placement opportunities advertised annually and excellent industry links, there’s something for everyone.
“...Careers Service does everything you'd expect it to.”
With excellent graduate employment rates, the University of Aberdeen’s students are set up for success from the day they enrol, so it’s no surprise they feature on this list. With their 'Career Connect' system, students can book 20-minute appointments for feedback on CVs and applications, 30-minute appointments with careers advisors who specialise in a specific subject area and have access to a service for submitting quick queries. The careers team inspire and support students' careers choices at whatever stage of university they're at! They will provide advice and give access to over 2,500 careers planning resources. Graduates are able to access the full range of services when they need them, for as long as they need them.
“...Career Service holds regular workshops and masterclasses and also keeps us informed about placement opportunities.”
The University of Glasgow runs 'Careers Masterclasses' which are one-hour sessions delivered weekly during term time with the aim of getting students started with careers planning and applications. From the moment students start and up to two years after graduation, they have access to a wide range of coaching, guidance, inspiring events, careers fairs and virtual or online appointments. The careers service also provides support for enterprising students in the form of one-to-one mentoring, competitions and assistance during the business start-up process. They also encourage interacting with their extensive alumni community, which consists of over 9,000 alumni from a hundred countries, by providing networking opportunities and advice.
“.... Very attentive careers service encouraging all students to gain work experience through internships, placements, insight schemes, volunteering opportunities, etc. to ensure graduates have enough experience to successfully apply to graduate schemes and internships...”
A recently improved drop-in service has been introduced this summer at Loughborough University with their two new 'Careers Hubs'. Students have the ability to access services virtually and in-person, ranging from online advice, one-on-one appointments, coaching, presentations and careers events. There are many events held annually, allowing you to meet employers, industry experts, alumni and the careers team. All undergraduate degrees at Loughborough University also allow students to take a placement year as part of the course. This is professional-level work experience for over 45 weeks which around 1,700 students partake in annually. A placement year helps to put you a step ahead of other competing applicants for a variety of careers.
“...Careers service is one of the best around the UK.”
The University of Bristol launched their 'Bristol Plus Award' for employability last year. This award rewards students for extracurricular activities they have completed during their degree and provides a structure to reflect on the skills which have been developed. It is supported by employers because it demonstrates that students have the skills they value. The careers team offers a range of specific support to help students explore career options, write winning CVs, succeed at interviews and search for opportunities from a range of employers after graduating. They even offer start-up support to help develop ideas and entrepreneurial skills. Graduates can access careers support for up to three years after finishing their degree.
“...there is a focus on career prospects right from year one. We have weekly employability sessions where we explore different career paths, how we can get to them, and what we should be doing now to reach our goals.”
It’s no surprise the University of East Anglia is featured on this list for a second year running due to their extensive range of resources and support available through their 'Careers Central' portal. Annually, their careers service advertises over 10,000 vetted opportunities, including student jobs, internships, placements, graduate jobs, graduate schemes, work abroad schemes and volunteering opportunities. The UEA award enables students to articulate their achievements in a way that employers value to give a competitive edge in today's job market. Support in choosing a career, guidance to help with applications and interviews and one-to-one appointments are also available for students up to three years after graduation.
“Durham's law school is top of the line with its high employability rate. The societies are also there to help build your career in law.”
Durham University offers an impartial, confidential and student-centred approach to support every student and graduate as they progress towards and achieve their career aspirations. Their careers service offers many resources and services, including a vacancies list, a variety of bookable events, a CV review, practise for video interviews and psychometric assessments and the ability to ask careers questions quickly through their online service. Not only are there start-up coaching sessions and workshops, but students also have the opportunity to take part in their 'Blueprint Startup Challenge', a competition in which students can win £5,000 to accelerate the growth of their business. This support is available to students throughout the year, as well as graduates.