Careers guidance and support | University of Oxford
Careers Service
Careers fair.
(Image credit: Greg Smolonski).

Careers guidance and support

Oxford's Careers Service can provide you with expert and tailored support with your career goals. As well as offering a comprehensive skill-building programme they offer hundreds of internships in over 40 countries and advertise thousands of job opportunities on their own CareersConnect website.

Whatever you study, our Careers team can help you maximise your chances of landing the job you want.

Maximising your potential

The Oxford University Careers Service offers a wealth of tailored support to help you really develop your skills and put yourself in the best possible position for entering the jobs market.

The Careers Service really is great. They're so helpful and have some amazing resources.

Anna

Whatever career you're interested in, and whichever degree you're taking, you will be offered expert advice and resources. This is likely to include:

  • 15 annual careers fairs so you can explore your options and meet employers
  • 520 workshops run by our Careers Advisers and visiting recruiters each year
  • 5,500 one-to-one careers advice appointments with expert advisers
  • Over 9,000 opportunities just for Oxford students advertised on the CareersConnect website
  • Business and consultancy programmes to develop commercial awareness and experience
  • Springboard, an award-winning personal development programme for women
  • Lifelong expert careers advice and job opportunities.

Oxford graduates go into many different sectors:

Academia and higher education3%
Accountancy, insurance and financial services5%
Advertising, marketing and communications6%
Arts and heritage4%
Banking and investment9%
Charity, development, not for profit and think tanks5%
Consumer goods & retail5%
Consultancy8%
Education14%
Energy and the environment1%
Energy and manufacturing2%
Government and public services7%
Health and social care1%
HR and recruitment1%
IT and computing4%
Law*2%
Management, business and information services1%
Media, journalism and publishing7%
Scientific research and development and other research services1%
Sport, leisure and tourism7%
Other sectors4%

*the majority of students pursuing law as a career go into further study after graduating, which is a requirement to qualify as a solicitor or barrister in the UK.

Source: 2016 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey

Skill-building

Today’s competitive and global job market mean that work experience and employability skills are increasingly important to early career success. These are just some of the skills which you can develop whilst still at Oxford:

Business Awareness

Together with your degree and other extra-curricular activities, our Careers Service's skill-building programmes can help you stand out when you are going for competitive jobs. Currently these include:

  • Octane: our programme to help you develop your employability skills
  • The Student Consultancy: take on real problems and develop real skills for clients in Oxfordshire
  • Insight programme: prepare yourself to transition from student to employee by developing your knowledge of business, medicine, pharma/biotech or teaching.
  • Workshops on dozens of different subjects to help you get the right support for your chosen career path.

And don’t forget there are also hundreds of societies, teams or clubs to take part in. Apart from being a lot of fun and a great way to make friends, this can also help you demonstrate employability skills such as time management, leadership and teamwork.

Exclusive internships

Do you want to use your summer vacations to get real-world experience and improve your skills? The summer internship programme could be just what you need.

Every year hundreds of internships are made available exclusively to Oxford students, often by our own alumni. These internships offer the chance to explore different sectors and work for world-leading companies and other institutions. Many take place abroad, in over 40 different countries.  They are a brilliant way to learn about another country, its people, language and culture, and will also help you build up employment skills and help you decide what you might enjoy doing when you graduate.

The list of available internships differs each year, but here are just some of the opportunities our students have taken up recently:

  • Tokyo, Japan: Intern at Ashinaga (an international charity for educating orphaned children)
  • Geneva, Switzerland: Intern, CERN
  • Amman, Jordan: Intern for UNICEF Jordan
  • Vancouver, Canada: Publishing intern for Tradewind Books
  • Rome, Italy: Legal intern, World Food Programme
  • San Cristóbal, Ecuador: Intern for Project Galapagos
  • St Petersburg, Russia: Intern at the State Hermitage
  • Washington D.C.: Intern at the Naval History and Heritage Command Society
  • Perm, Russia: Biology intern at Perm State University
  • Beijing, China: Intern (mergers and acquisitions), Vermillion Partners

The internships offer full-time work for 4 to 12 weeks during the summer vacation, and are either paid or offer assistance with travel or accommodation. The University also offers a number of scholarships and grants for students taking up a Summer Internship opportunity. You can find more details about internships on the Careers Service's website.

Life-long support

Importantly, the support the Careers Service can offer you doesn't stop when you graduate. You can continue to use the service for as long as and whenever you want to - there's no limit! 

Alumni can:

  • Use the exclusive CareerConnect job vacancy website
  • Attend events specifically for alumni
  • Attend the University careers fairs
  • Get one-to-one support from Careers Advisers in person (if you're in Oxford) or via Skype
  • Get information sent directly to you

There is also targeted help available to graduates thinking of changing careers, returning to the jobs market after a break, or wanting to 'give back'.

Find out more about the ongoing support for graduates of the University.