Boasting of a trillion-dollar GDP and the 6th largest economy worldwide, the UK has always been one of the most popular destinations for international students eager to kick-start or advance their careers. Ranked second after the US, the UK has nearly 500,000 international students enrolling across the country’s diverse higher education institutions. According to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), there were 485,645 international students in the UK in 2018/19, witnessing around 6% increase from the previous year. Interestingly, India has been the second biggest contributor to this stat with numbers increasing from 18,325 in 2014/15 to 26,685 in 2018/19, marking an impressive jump since the UK government announced the launch of its 2-year post-study work (PSW) permit to benefit the UK jobs market. What is more promising is the UK gearing up to target 600,000 international students by 2030 and heralding a further regional shift to the country for higher education.
Apart from the PSW announcement, the steady growth in international student numbers to the UK can be traditionally attributed to multiple factors – higher-quality education, university funding, specialisation expertise, industrial linkage, global ranking performance, lucrative jobs, favourable work environment and better quality of life – making the country the perfect place for ambitious graduates to pursue their career and join its robust 32 million workforce. If you are among the ambitious few, below is a quick guide to assist you in searching for full time jobs in UK:
1. Understand the UK jobs market – The rise of digital transformation is expected to bring in significant structural shifts in the UK workforce over the coming years. As per a 2019 McKinsey report, there will be a 20% rise in the demand for occupations such as managers, technology specialists and health professionals by 2030. The research further states that these shortages will not only be within the technology sector, but also for managers required to up-skill teams and lead change, especially in customer-facing service roles.
By 2030, 2/3rd of the UK workforce is expected to lack basic digital skills, while more than 10 million people might be under-skilled in leadership, communication, and decision making. Therefore, this is a tremendous opportunity for international graduates to build or find relevant skills that would enable that transformation. If you are an international student look for courses that specialise in the abovementioned domains and subsequently look for jobs within UK’s shortage occupation list to ensure a higher chance of securing a Tier 2 work sponsorship. Few occupations that are currently facing shortages and are likely to see a significant rise in demand for talent by 2030 would be across healthcare, ICT, teaching and education, etc. These roles will also demand higher salaries. On the contrary, elementary sales and administrative roles with currently high unemployment rates and low wages will witness less growth in demand. You can also gain a more detailed understanding of the shortage occupation list by referring to the UK government’s website.
For clarity on which course to pursue in the UK, you can reach out to ScotsGrad, India’s only educational consultancy firm offering career support and performing the Lumina Spark psychometric evaluation to understand your personality. This assessment would enable you to know your personality traits, strengths and pain points. Once assessed, our subject-matter experts will suggest you the best courses and universities based on your psychometric evaluation, existing qualifications, work experience, skill-set and the UK jobs market. What gives us an edge is our large UK alumni base assigned to be your mentors. Their experience studying within the UK in recent years, and their association with leading industry professionals and university professors, makes them ideal guides throughout your educational and professional journey in the UK.
2. Prepare a robust CV – A curriculum vitae (CV) is a key piece while hunting for jobs in the UK since it offers potential employers a quick glimpse into your achievements, and aspirations. It is crucial that you draft a strong CV to stand out from the crowd. Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for crafting a perfect CV, you need to ensure that it is concise, well-formatted and well-tailored for jobs in UK.
- Your CV should not exceed 2 pages
- Format your CV well. For instance, if you have been quickly promoted in a company, highlight that growth
- Provide a summary of your career at the top of your CV. The summary should briefly state your skills, qualifications, and unique value
- Today most companies use an applicant tracking system to collect and scan CVs. Include keywords from the job post in your CV to increase your likelihood of getting shortlisted
- Use concrete examples of your accomplishments
- Use strong actions words like achieved, improved, scaled, and established to describe your job duties
- Provide links to your social media handles
The Indian CV is noticeably different from its UK counterpart. While in India a CV running into multiple pages is preferable, the same doesn’t hold true in the UK, which favours a more concise and simplistic look in terms of information, font and layout. For professional assistance in CV building, you can connect with ScotsGrad, where we have years of experience assisting international students from India in evaluating and building CVs for their university and job applications.
3. Register on job websites and/or hire a recruitment agency – There are several job websites like Gumtree, Indeed, Jobsite, Monster, Trovit where you can browse through thousands of UK jobs, upload your CV, and manage your applications. You can also avail the services of a recruitment agency or educational consultant like ScotsGrad, where we specialise in career guidance including making an application for extension of stay beyond your Tier 4 visa period, building your CV, and assisting in your job placement via ScotsHunt (our sister concern).
4. Explore jobs in UK across company websites – Search company websites for available vacancies. Research on the company background and look for the person responsible for making the hiring decision. If there is no name on the website, send an email or call to enquire.
5. Network – Networking is important as most jobs in UK are often filled through recommendations. Network and make as many contacts as possible. For instance, join LinkedIn to connect with professionals from your field. LinkedIn has also introduced the Events Hub, a tool that allows you to create and join professional events, invite connections, and have conversations with other attendees. This is a great way for you to build your LinkedIn network by meeting your existing connections and making new connections. Another way to network is to attend university events to connect with its alumni and gain their valuable insights on internships and job searches. You can also reach out to ScotsGrad, where our mentors offer subject-specific career guidance and networking opportunities.
The UK jobs market for international students continues to remain robust and competitive. Despite the competition, candidates with the right qualifications, skills and experience will stand a good chance of employment with the right strategy and approach.
ScotsGrad is a pioneer in establishing the UK, especially Scotland, as a premier destination for higher education among students in India. We provide end to end advisory services including psychometric assessment, personalised interactions, university and visa application assistance, and career guidance. The personalised interactions with our members, former graduates of leading UK universities, ensure a holistic and systematic approach. We are also the only consultancy in India enabling “career success” for any student going to the UK.
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All the Best!