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Your Career in Business & Finance

Your Career in Business & Finance

Overview
Working in the financial and banking sector is an attractive option for many graduates. Recent figures show that 7.2% of all graduates chose to enter the sector.
If you’re not following a related course, the good news is that not all recruits come from related degree subjects. Regardless of your degree subject, the sector offers great opportunities.
Overview of the sector As the following data shows, the financial sector is hugely important to the UK labour market and economy:

Around 1.1 million people work for 35,000 companies.
There are an estimated 2.5 million accountants worldwide. 255,000 working in the UK.
Recent data shows that real earnings growth across the financial sector was 4.7%, the highest of all occupational sectors.
Salaries ( particularly in the City) are higher than those of many sectors and other comparable careers.
Whilst other sectors have experienced inconsistencies, employment rates have remained steady throughout the last ten years.
From 1992-2004, the sector had the second highest rate of productivity growth (5.97%) – above construction and other services.

(The Importance to the UK economy of a Successful Sector – Christopher Smallwood Research 2006)
Despite these positive signs, the sector is also experiencing skills and recruitment shortages that if not addressed, will inhibit future growth and performance.
The Financial Services Skills Councilhighlights the following issues:

There is a severe shortage of employees with languages and cultural awareness, risk modelling and management, regulatory compliance and actuarial skills.
UK students are lagging behind those from other countries in terms of their numeric and quantitative skills.
There has been a recent rise in the importance of middle and back office operations across the financial sector. These positions do not attract the same prestige as those at the front-end. Organisations are being urged to raise the profile, prestige and pay of these jobs in order to attract high-quality and skilled staff.
Demand is high for employees with high level IT skills.

Where necessary, expand your existing skills portfolio by gaining the qualifications or skills in these shortage areas. If you already possess them – use them to your advantage!
What are your work options? The range of jobs in the sector is vast. Your main choice will be to decide where and what type of organisation to work for. You should decide whether to work in a primarily financial organisation specialising in selling or advising on different financial services, or in a company where finance is not the main product.
Opportunities exist in both the private and public sectors. There are wide variations in salary levels, career progression and choices of location, so think carefully and match each opportunity to your own requirements before making your final decisions.
Your options after university If you want to find work in the financial sector and have studied a degree in an unrelated subject it is likely that you will have to gain some professional qualifications in addition to your degree. If this is the case you’ll have to continue in education either on a part or full-time basis and look at employment later. The good news is that every year around 15% of new recruits come from unrelated areas. The key will be selling your skills and matching them to the needs of the sector.   If you are due to complete a financial degree and will achieve a minimum 2-1, your options should be easier as you’ll be able to consider related work immediately. 
In order to stay ahead of the competition, employers expect their staff to continue studying and retraining – so be warned you haven’t stopped studying yet!

Graduate Recruitment

Range of Opportunities
Deregulation has introduced a number of new players and extended the services offered by existing organisations. As a result the range and type of work on offer has increased. Banks, supermarkets, insurance companies and even motor rescue companies are selling financially based products.

Working in the Sector
There are five areas that you could work within. These are: Wholesale/Investment banking, Retail, Financial advice, Investments/Asset Management, Insurance.

Job Requirements
Although staff in each sub-sector require specific skills, experience and qualifications there are some generic aspects common across all jobs.

Useful Resources
Useful Websites

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Top 10 careers that make young people the most happy

Top 10 careers that make young people the most happy

SCHOOL LEAVERS DEMAND VOCATIONAL LEARNING
City & Guilds, a global leader in skills education, has launched a special Millennials Edition of its Career Happiness Index. The Index surveyed 1,100 18-24 year olds nationwide about their experiences in the workplace. The Index finds that although 63% of young people are happy at work, 78% identify a need for vocational, job-related qualifications once they have left education and enter the job market.
The survey of 1,100 young people in the UK found the top 10 careers that make young people the most happy are:1.       Scientific Research2.       Early Years and Childcare3.       Floristry and Gardening4.       Teaching5.       IT, Data Processing and Telecoms6.       Engineering7.       Nursing8.       Marking, PR, Advertising and Communications9.       Finance and Accountancy10.   Financial ServicesWhilst over three quarters of millennials seek vocational training, only half as many (39%) look to academic qualifications to progress their careers. 39% of young people identify industry-specific training and apprenticeships as steps towards their dream jobs, and just under a third look to on-the-job training to secure their dream role. The Index also shows that millennials’ vocational experience pays off. A third of those surveyed got their current job after work experience in the field.This year’s Index showcases a young workforce that is not just happy, but hard working and ambitious. 1 in 5 currently has two or more jobs, and 68% of young people were working by the time they were 18.Speaking about the findings, Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds said:‘Vocational education is not a second class route for those who don’t succeed academically. In fact, our research proves that hard-working and ambitious young people are choosing vocational education as a way to achieve their dream job.‘The findings show that employers must not underestimate young people. Instead, they need to step up and support young people’s ambitions and provide opportunities for development and future career satisfaction.’When it comes to choosing a career, parents continue to be the biggest source of inspiration for young people. Over a third of those surveyed were motivated to choose their current job by their parents, compared to only 4% who were inspired by celebrities, and 8% by employers. As for careers advice, again parents are the primary source (24%) matched only by work experience (24%).Chris Jones, CEO at City & Guilds concluded:‘It’s not surprising that young people turn to their parents for advice and inspiration. Current careers advice in schools is inadequate and failing young people. Parents cannot be expected to know about the various routes and options available to their children. They need better support and better resources so they can provide informed, impartial advice.‘Employers have a role to play. We know young people benefit from direct interaction with employers. We know they want high-quality work experience placements. But we need commitment from employers to provide these opportunities so young people can make the most of their potential and find a career that makes them happy. ‘By better supporting parents and by encouraging employers to advise and invest in our young workforce, we can give this generation the chance to thrive.’
The Career Happiness Index: Millennials Edition has been released ahead of The Skills Show, which takes place in November and for which City & Guilds is a Premier Sponsor. The Skills Show is an opportunity for parents, learners, educators, and employers to realise the potential of skills-based education.

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Retail

Retail

Croydon School of Art
Fashion designer John Rocha visits Croydon College to relaunch Croydon School of Art. “Coming to Croydon College allowed me to follow my dream – and for that dream to come true.”

Working in security
OPTIMA Defence & Security Group, specialists in counter threat security and a trusted advisor to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), has developed bespoke BTEC courses for young people who have an interest in working in security.

Opportunities in the fashion and textile industry
The UK Fashion and Textile Association has launched a new programme with universities across the country to offer support to students taking their first steps into the fashion and textile industry.

Opportunities at B&Q;
B&Q;, the UK’s largest home improvement and garden centre retailer announces it has introduced over 100,000 young people to practical home improvement and gardening skills through its investment in youth programmes and initiatives.

Retail apprenticeships
The Hut Group’s Apprenticeship Program has flourished since it’s launch in 2010, creating jobs and opportunities for over 500 young people across the UK.

British youths’ work ethic
London Mayor Boris Johnson has slammed Britain’s youth for their poor work ethic and suggested they should learn from hardworking foreigners who have taken their jobs.

Jobs at NEXT
With the graduate job market becoming increasingly competitive, the University of Leicester has launched a new initiative with NEXT to enhance employability skills of its students.

Looking for a job? Ask your mates!
Using your personal contacts is still one of the most effective ways to land a new job, an online YouGov survey of nearly 2,000 British adults has revealed.

Diplomas in Enterprise
Oldham College will be offering the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy BTEC Level 2 and 3 Diplomas in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Students will work on real life business challenges as well as taking part in workshops.

Youth jobs scheme
The Government is launching a £1 billion scheme that will help tackle the UK’s youth unemployment crisis. Nick Clegg is unveiling his youth contract programme that will see wage subsidies offered to employers to take on 160,000 young people over 3 years.

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Business role models

Business role models

Richard Branson named ‘Ultimate Business Role Model’ by young entrepreneurs
New research from Amway UK has revealed that one quarter (25 per cent) of people under the age of 25 consider Richard Branson as the Ultimate Business Role Model. The self-proclaimed ‘King of Self-Publicity’ beat former young entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar (21 per cent). Superstar couple David and Victoria (15 and 13 per cent respectively), proved the Beckhams really do mean business by finishing third and fourth in the poll, with Sugar’s Apprentice sidekick Karren Brady (12 per cent) finishing in fifth.
 
The research into young entrepreneurialism and role models was commissioned by Amway UK to mark the launch of Britain’s Top Real Role Model 2013, a nationwide competition to uncover Britain’s most promising young entrepreneur.
 
Singers Rihanna and Cheryl Cole who have monetised their pop-star appeal by creating successful business ventures are proving inspirational to young people beating extravert Easy Jet owner Stelios Haji-Ioannou (three per cent) and Arcadia’s Sir Phillip Green (two per cent) in the poll. Pop princess Rihanna’s ability to turn her popularity into a high-street fashion business ranked her higher on the list of role models than arguably the world’s most successful supermodel Kate Moss (2.5 per cent). Kate, who despite only being introduced to the world of business by Topshop owner Philip Green, still finished higher than him.  
 
The under 25s’ business role models are:
1.     Richard Branson
2.     Lord Alan Sugar
3.     David Beckham
4.     Victoria Beckham
5.     Karren Brady
6.     Cheryl Cole
7.     Rihanna
8.     Stelios Haji-Ioannou
9.     Kate Moss
10.  Sir Philip Green
Proving today’s younger generation to be hugely ambitious and with their sights firmly set on emulating the success of Richard Branson, the research found that over one fifth (21 per cent) of students have embark on an entrepreneurial venture before they graduate. Male students are 21 per cent more likely to do so than their female counterparts.
 
25 per cent of students cited supplementing their income as their primary motivation for starting a business; a highly enthused 10 per cent reported having a great idea that couldn’t wait, whilst an ambitious five per cent of students think that to be a successful entrepreneur ‘you need to start young’ echoing the well documented young beginnings of Branson and Sugar.  
 
When asked about the biggest influences on their career path to date, over a third (35 per cent) of respondents revealed their parents were the biggest influence, followed by teachers (17 per cent) and friends (15 per cent).
 
Sheryl Franklin-Worth, Corporate Affairs Manager at Amway UK says: “It’s very encouraging to see that today’s younger generation are inspired by business success stories like Richard Branson and Lord Sugar. It reflects that enterprise is seen as positive in the UK which is great news for Amway UK who are committed to finding the next generation of entrepreneurs, the results help us get to know our target audience.”
 
To enter Britain’s Top Real Role Model visit www.britainstoprealrolemodel.co.uk. Nominations are now open and close on 1st October. Successful shortlisted applicants will be asked to submit a brief business plan and the winner is announced early November 2013.

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Automotive

Automotive

University applications
There’s still time to find a place at a university or college this year – just remember the 30 June deadline. That’s the message from UCAS, the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education in the UK.

Empowering & educating young people
The Green Party congratulates students taking part in the #Demo2012 protest against the loss of their Education Maintenance Allowance, the rise in university tuition fees, and the failure to provide employment opportunities for young people entering the w

StartUp Britain tour
The campaign’s double-decker bus will visit 40 universities and further education colleges across the UK, carrying a team of business experts, mentors, authors and entrepreneurs to get face-to-face with the increasing number of young people hoping to set

Top tips from UCAS
Applying to university or college next year? Read these top dos and dont’s by Cathy Gilbert, Director of Customer Strategy at UCAS

Offering placements make business sense
Industry placements benefit not only university students by exposing them to real life working scenarios, but equally benefit the host organisation who has the opportunity to select eager individuals from an emerging talent pool.

Silverstone Study Centre
The Silverstone Study Centre utilises its unique setting and motor sports-themed, interactive environment to promote motivation and development throughout primary and secondary education, up to and including Sixth Form level.

Questions about starting university
What is Freshers’ Week really like? How do I write a personal statement that won’t let me down? Which university course should I choose? For help with all these questions, try watching UCAStv.

UCAS clearing update
425,487applicants have been placed in universities and colleges throughout the UK. This is up by 10,416 applicants on this time last year.

Driving instructor jobs
Traditionally, to become a driving instructor costs in excess of £2500, but SmartDriving have launched a revolutionary new iCourse for just £649 –cheaper than a new TV!

Young Apprenticeship programme
The Government will be withdrawing funding from the Young Apprenticeship programme. 100% of employers thought that the Young Apprenticeship provided a good starting point for those wanting to work in the sport and active leisure sector.

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Language careers

Language careers

New survey from Rosetta Stone reveals career opportunities as a major source of motivation for learning a new language   One in five people who speak a second language say it has allowed them to further their career, new research from Rosetta Stone shows.   In Europe alone there are over 225 indigenous languages, yet the continent accounts for just three per cent of the world’s total languages – it’s estimated that there are between 5,000 and 6,000 languages now spoken across the globe.   Rosetta Stone polled over 1,000 people to discover their attitudes to learning and speaking a foreign language, including the impact it has on their work and personal lives.   Of those who spoke a second language, around 20 per cent said it had allowed them to further their career. Nearly three in every five respondents said it had made travelling and seeing the world more accessible, 42 per cent said it had allowed them to develop personally and 35 per cent said it had allowed them to experience different cultures through music, film or books. One in ten said it had given them an edge in the job market.   Competition for jobs on the current job market is fierce and learning a foreign language can be one way to stand out from other candidates. With this in mind, Rosetta Stone looked more into why people felt that learning a second language would further a career.   Three in ten (30 per cent) said that understanding the culture of a community enables them to interact with people. Meanwhile, 23 per cent of respondents who could speak a second language said it helped improve their client relationships, and 16 per cent said it helped them work with people from different backgrounds and expand their industry knowledge.   Gary Lineker, English former footballer and sports broadcaster and ambassador of Rosetta Stone languages4schools project, said: “During my football career I realised quickly what a difference language skills can make. Speaking Spanish and Japanese has opened doors in my career and helped me bridge cultural differences, both in my personal and business life.”    Gustaf Nordbäck, Managing Director-EMEA at Rosetta Stone, said: “New technology helps you to integrate your language-learning efforts in everyday life. You choose when and where to learn. With our new travel app , for instance, you will not only acquire basic language skills, but the app provides pronunciation training, too. New words as well as the pronunciation are combined with images and arranged in a smart sequence – this way you will naturally connect the meaning.   “Learning a language should be a natural and instinctive process, like the way you learnt your first language. Choose a method that best simulates this. With the added benefit of technology, you can learn at your own pace in your own time without the constraints of classrooms.”   Respondents were also asked how they would describe someone who could speak a foreign language. Nearly one-third of people answered “more employable”, while “interesting” was the most common term used (43 per cent), followed by “cultured” (34 per cent).   Over 70 per cent of Brits polled by Rosetta Stone admitted they did not speak any languages other than English. Of those who did speak a foreign language, 19 per cent spoke one language in addition to English and a small percentage (seven per cent) spoke two additional languages.   Rosetta Stone has also released an infographic showing some of the survey results, which can be found on the company’s blog.

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Construction

Construction

WorldSkills 2013
Young British engineers, plumbers and builders have been hailed as heroes and heroines having battled to a fantastic finish at the ‘Skills Olympics’ – WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany.

How to get an apprenticeship
With millions of TV viewers tuning in to the latest series of The Apprentice,Michael Cheary at reed.co.uk explains all you need to know about apprenticeships, and how to secure one.

Careers at sea
As young people start their first days at college, Staff at Clyde Marine Training share their top ten pearls of wit and wisdom

Making construction a career of choice
Careers advice in UK schools can be hit or miss. The Chartered Institute of Building has been campaigning to improve the guidance young people receive and the access they have to a professional career.

UCAS website for teenagers
A new website – created by UCAS – which lets young people apply for courses ranging from A level Maths to an Apprenticeship in Plumbing, has received over 23,000 visitors since launching on 1 October.

Free website shows how post code lottery affects young people’s futures
A website capturing whether 18-year-olds across England are likely to be in education, employment or training based on their post codes has been launched following research by the University of Sheffield.

Youth unemployment
Unemployed youths are descending on Wandsworth Borough at 9am Tuesday 27th March 2012 to take part in the UK’s first employment boot camp.

Buck the trend with an apprenticeship
Apprenticeships are an excellent alternative for young people who have perhaps been put off going to university, want a more practical education or an alternative to traditional employment options.

Recruitment trends
39% of UK employers plan to add new employees in 2011 with a mix of full-time, part-time, contract or temporary workers and interns. Technology is the number one area cited for hiring.

Official figures show rise in apprenticeships
Figures released from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) show apprenticeships on the increase, with 442,700 courses beginning in the 2010/11 academic year.

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Gap year advice

Gap year advice

Taking a Gap Year During University Can Be Damaging Reveals Essential Travel With A level results day just around the corner on 15th August, students all over the country will soon be contemplating their future, including thinking about whether to take a gap year. However, leading online backpacker travel insurance specialist Essential Travel urges students to not only consider whether they will take a gap year, but also when they will take it, as a recent Essential Travel interview has revealed that taking a gap year mid course can be damaging for students. Essential Travel sought advice from Dr Kingsley Sage, lecturer in computer studies at Sussex University, for a Tutor’s perspective of how gap years can affect studentsTaking a Year Out of UniversityPutting aside studying abroad as part of a course, gap years in the middle of your degree is a bad idea, says Dr Sage: “Taking a gap year in your middle years can be quite damaging, actually. For a start it can destroy your perception of University study, and how you feel about it. I believe if you do something you should do it wholeheartedly and a gap year can be incredibly distracting – you’ll be thinking and planning for it beforehand, and possibly find it difficult to get back into the routine of study afterwards, or just lose your enthusiasm for it. There are many stories about people getting depressed after a gap year, or just coming back to reality with a crash. If you are just starting University or looking for a job, you at least have something exciting to be thinking about… a new challenge. Whereas, if you are just coming back to something you know already, you might very well find it hard.” A sensible alternative would be to plan a snap gap in your holidays. With 3-4 months of holiday, students can pack a lot into that time. Watch out for: Returning to find that your friends and fellow students have moved on while you’ve been away.A Pre-University Gap YearTaking a gap year before Higher Education is encouraged by many institutions who believe that a year out in the world before University helps to mature students and give them a little more experience of something other than studying, and during his interview Dr Kingsley Sage  suggests that this is in the fact the best time to take a gap year: “At 18 you may have something you’ve been burning to do, some passion you want to nurture, and your gap year will be more about you and what you want. Once you start at University, there will be a lot of peer influence about the cool things to do, such as a certain place to travel, and you may find yourself led astray from what you really want to do.” Watch out for: Some Universities may not allow you to defer a year Post University Gap Year After three or four years of studying, taking time out may sound the most obvious thing to do, and you literally have the world to chose from! It can also be a time to cement friendships and travel as a group before going off to different places Dr Sage suggests that a gap year at this time is a must if you haven’t yet done it and know that it’s something you want to do: “You certainly need to get it out of your system before you settle down to a job if you know it’s something you really want to do. One thing I would bear in mind, though, is that you may miss the graduate recruitment fairs, which for many are the best ways to get a job after graduation, and if you have to wait a whole year for it to come around again, that can be a long time.” Watch out for: Reluctant parents who may have been helping to fund you, and now want to see you “knuckle down” and get some work rather than what they may perceive as go away on a long holiday! Extra Help Essential Travel are reducing their Backpacker insurance by 15% until 1st September, 2013, and has also its Career Gap Campaign to help gappers plan their time away. It includes step by step advice from leading money, CV, and gap year experts, as well as real life stories from people have done it – from volunteering to working as a ski rep, to teaching English in Japan. Essential Travel is one of the UK’s leading online travel extra providers, providing priority access to the most sought after car parks, hotels and lounges at all major airports across the UK. Essential Travel is now part of Thomas Cook UK  Ireland. For further information visit http://www.essentialtravel.co.uk; or call 0845 803 5434 free.

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Finance

Finance

CV advice
How long should a CV be? What skills should you mention? Should you include a personal profile? Jerry Frempong shares his top tips for CV success

Business role models
A quarter of budding entrepreneurs name Richard Branson as their Ultimate Business Role Model, one fifth choose Amstrad founder Lord Alan Sugar while David and Victoria Beckham beat Apprentice star Karren Brady in a recent poll.

Exam Results Helpline
The Exam Results Helpline is a free telephone helpline staffed by independent careers advisers. Students across the UK who receive unexpected exam results (A levels, GCSEs and equivalent qualifications) can call in for advice about their learning and care

Opportunities for young people
A new career development network is launching for young people in the UK. The online service enables young people to make their own work experience, apprenticeship and training requests for employers to respond to.

How to stay calm before an exam
The key to staying calm in an exam is to keep your fear in perspective. Cat Williams, author of Stay Calm and Content shares her tips.

Top 10 careers that make young people the most happy
City & Guilds, a global leader in skills education, has launched a special Millennials Edition of its Career Happiness Index. The Index surveyed 1,100 18-24 year olds nationwide about their experiences in the workplace.

Interview advice
Two key hurdles to employment for young jobseekers are identifying appropriate skills and a lack of interview technique, according to research from Fish4jobs, one of the UK’s best known job sites.

What to expect in your first university term
Student stereotypes are all well and good (cheap beer, freshers’ week, an aversion to cleaning, the occasional lecture). But what should you really expect when it comes to your first term at university?

Lord Sugar helps jobseekers with interview advice
Jobseekers can test their interview skills with Lord Sugar on Jobsite’s award-winning video interview practice website BeMyInterviewer.co.uk

Call for vocational routes to fill the void as hike in tuition fees deters students
The number of university applications in the UK has fallen by 8.9% compared to last year, according to the university applications body UCAS.

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University applications

University applications

It’s not too late to apply to university this year – but the deadline is loomingThere’s still time to find a place at a university or college this year – just remember the 30 June deadline.That’s the message from UCAS, the organisation responsible for managing applications to higher education in the UK.Although the ‘on time’ deadline passed in January, applicants could still be made an offer before Clearing if they apply before 23:59 on 30 June this year.While universities and colleges are not obliged to consider anyone at this stage, admissions officers still want to hear from you if you are thinking about becoming a fresher this year.Applications received after this date go into Clearing automatically. So this is the last chance to make a full set of choices and have them sent on to the institutions.Andrea Robertson, Director of Relationship Management, UCAS said: “If you missed the January deadline but are still keen to find a course, there is time to be made an offer if you apply now.“Although there are no guarantees at this stage, a strong application will be treated seriously if the university or college has places available.“Even though this will be a late application, it’s still vital to do the correct research, make careful choices and write a strong personal statement.“Remember that you will be spending at least three years studying and the decision must be the right one for you.”To research courses visit the new UCAS website and use the course search tool. Here you will also find a wealth of advice on writing a powerful personal statement.