Home>Study at York>Careers and skills

Get a head start to a brighter future

Tap into our global employer and recruiter networks. Take advantage of our graduate mentoring scheme. Reap the benefits of our award-winning personal development, training and placement schemes.

​​Stand out from the crowd​

Whatever you plan to do after you graduate, we can help you stand out from the crowd. We offer a wealth of opportunities and advice that will support your career ambitions.

  • 90% of York students enter work or further study within six months of graduating*
  • We're ranked in the Top 25 of universities targeted by the largest number of top employers (The Graduate Market in 2016, High Fliers)
  • Hundreds of employers, from multinationals to local small and medium-sized businesses visit us on campus every year.

All data is taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), looking at destinations of UK and EU graduates in the 2014 cohort.

Connect with employers

You can meet top employers at our recruitment fairs held regularly on campus.

Our standing among the UK's best universities means that top employers are keen to meet York students. 

Employers regularly target our students and graduates for internships, placements and graduate vacancies. You'll also get the chance to meet them at careers fairs, workshops, presentations and networking events, as well as through your academic department.

This includes recruiters such as L’Oréal, Morgan Stanley, Nestlé, HSBC, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, IBM, the NHS, Teach First and the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate scheme.

Link with our alumni networks

We have a global network of over 100,000 York alumni, many of whom visit campus, share their stories and offer support to current students.

You can learn about successful York graduates' career journeys through talks, online case studies and mentoring schemes.

When you graduate you'll be part of the York Alumni Association, a supportive community that can help you further your career and stay in touch with York.

The Working In events provide an opportunity to talk to professionals working in areas that you're interested in.

What York graduates do

York alumni make a difference in almost every walk of life. Currently, we have York alumni working in senior positions at:

  • Twitter
  • The United Nations
  • Accenture
  • BBC
  • Deutsche Bank
  • European Space Agency
  • Microsoft
  • BMW
  • NATO
  • BP
  • Diageo
  • Google
  • J P Morgan
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Search graduate profiles and mentors

Work while you study

Getting involved with student societies is another way to gain experience and enhance your CV. For example, you could join University Radio York (URY), an award-winning station run by and for students.

Develop skills that are valued by employers by taking a summer internship, a year in industry or by gaining part-time and casual work while you study.

We offer paid project-based internships with local employers, exclusively for York students, through our Student Internship Bureau (facebook.com).

Among many other diverse opportunities, you could do market research for online legal services, or work with the National Bee Unit at the Food and Environment Agency.

"My internship at TSYS was about understanding the consumer perception around mobile payments. I designed an online survey and analysed the data using a statistical program which I learned to use during my Masters at York. What I did during the internship was linked so closely to what I studied throughout the academic year."

Lucio, MSc Global Marketing

Study and work abroad

York has links with top academic institutions and employers all over the world. You can apply to go abroad for a few weeks, a semester or a full academic year.

Enhance your CV, experience a new culture, develop your language skills and meet some incredible people along the way​. Explore your options:

Olivia, Worldwide Exchange Programme in the USA. Where you can go depends on your course of study at York.

"My semester in Spain turned out to be one of the greatest, most special times of my life. I have no doubt that the friends and memories I have made on my year abroad will last a lifetime."

Laura, La Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain (Erasmus exchange)

Learn a language

We also offer specialist courses as part of degrees such as foreign literature reading skills courses and specialist language preparation for Erasmus exchanges.

Pick up new language skills alongside your studies. Learn for fun, boost your international credentials, or prepare for a placement abroad through our Languages for All programmes.

Courses are available for beginners to advanced and include languages such as Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Japanese, Classical Latin, Medieval Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.​

"Extra activities can help expand your CV, knowledge, skills, experiences and personal development. They are what employers look for when recruiting.”

Alex, BA Sociology with Criminology

Develop your skills with the York Award

US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour was the star guest of Northern Youth, a student-led fashion show in aid of the refugee crisis. Projects like this can go towards your York Award and help you gain valuable work experience.

Expand your key skills and experiences through our innovative personal development programme. The York Award gives you official recognition for all the skills you learn when you’re at university including and beyond those you develop through your studies (such as running a student society or organising a fundraising event).

The York Award is a great way to keep track of everything you’re doing at university. It's also highly valued by employers as it shows you've taken advantage of all the opportunities university has to offer.

"Volunteering for Night Safe, a city centre night-time safety scheme, was really exciting and gave me the opportunity to get hands-on – giving basic first aid, conflict resolution and offering vulnerable people the emotional and physical support they needed to feel safe on their night out. Night Safe showed me how much I can enjoy taking ownership of a project and this is what I hope to achieve in my career but on a larger scale.”

Bhavin, BSc Physics with Astrophysics

Make a difference

Broaden your leadership and organisational skills and make a difference to other people’s lives through a range of volunteering and fundraising opportunities.

You could volunteer in a local school through our award-winning York Students in School scheme, support people with dementia with the Minds in Motion project, or climb Mount Kilimanjaro for Raising and Giving (RAG). Those are just a few of the options. Whether you can give a few hours or few weeks there are plenty of projects and initiatives to get involved with.

"I volunteered for the charity Minds in Motion. They hold social and recreational events for people living with dementia. My role included organising all the logistics like booking venues, inviting guests and recruiting volunteers to run the session. Through my volunteering, I’ve realised that working for a charity is what I want to do in the future.”

Heather, BA English Literature and Philosophy

Plan your career

Our expert careers advisers will help you make the most of your time at university and fulfil your aspirations.

We can help you compete for the best jobs all over the world through a range of support and initiatives:

  • Generate careers ideas, access work experience and develop the skills portfolio you need with our award-winning Employability Tutorial tailored to you.
  • Discuss your employability plan with your personal supervisor, and access one-to-one support from professional careers consultants.
  • Develop your skills and explore new interests through courses such as counselling skills, project management and networking.
  • Research career opportunities with our extensive range of online resources and help from our careers staff.
  • Use the Careers Timeline to track your choices and access support.

Discover how our Careers team can support you.

"Staff from York’s Careers service helped me get my business idea off the ground. They encouraged me to formulate a business plan and apply for funding and support from the University – I went to entrepreneur bootcamp and learned a lot.”

Bethan Vincent, Director of Vincent’s Coffee and Bright Ethics, BA History, 2013

Start a business

We can help you grow your fledgling business. Connect with mentors and business advisers and tap into the culture of enterprise and innovation at our Student Enterprise Space. The centre offers free hot-desking facilities and support to help you put your ideas into action.

You can also access funding and extra support by using our crowdsourcing platform, or by joining the Entrepreneurs Society, run by and for students who are interested in enterprise.

Find out more about how we support enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The Student Enterprise Space includes a 360 degree demonstration space.

"The experience I gained through joining York’s Entrepreneurs Society and the Travel Society gave me the skills and confidence to run my own company. University funding also helped me develop my business idea.”

Charlie Thuillier, Founder and Managing Director of Oppo Ice Cream, BA Applied Social Science – Crime and Criminal Justice, 2011