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What Are the Top Graduate Employers in the UK?

There is no conclusive answer to the question of which UK employers offer the best grad schemes and jobs; it depends on your personal definition of what makes a good employer. Yet it is clear that some employers are more popular among graduates than others. This is mainly due to their starting salaries and benefits or to their high-quality training and learning opportunities.

Each year, the Guardian conducts a survey among students and lists the top 300 graduate employers. Similarly, The Times posts a list of the top 100 graduate employers, based on interviews conducted with graduates. Below you will find the Guardian's list of UK top graduate employers for 2017-2018. Click on a company to learn how to prepare for its recruitment process.

Top 300 Graduate Employers
Google Cancer Research UK GlaxoSmithKline MI6
Channel 4 Television British Airways Microsoft Amazon
MI5 Jaguar Land Rover Rolls-Royce J.P. Morgan
PWC NHS Unilever Civil Service
Teach First Penguin Random House Deloitte Goldman Sachs
adidas Group KPMG L’Oréal AstraZeneca
Airbus Local Government (NGDP) IBM John Lewis Partnership
British Council Sky Apple BAE Systems
The Bank of England EY Pfizer Barclays
European Commission BP Procter & Gamble (P&G) HSBC Bank plc
The Army Samsung HM Revenue & Customs Shell
Johnson & Johnson Virgin Media Aston Martin Allen & Overy LLP
Bloomberg Oxfam Arcadia Group Hilton Worldwide
BMW Group McLaren Marks & Spencer GCHQ
McKinsey & Company The Royal Air Force Accenture Rockstar Games
Morgan Stanley Arup Lloyds Banking Group Boston Consulting Group
Mercedes AMG HPP Clifford Chance Network Rail The Royal Navy
Abercrombie & Fitch Metropolitan Police Mars Aldi
Atkins Facebook Intel Merlin Entertainments
Siemens AECOM STFC Slaughter and May
Dyson Nestlé Boots EDF Energy
Merrill Lynch Irwin Mitchell Deutsche Bank BT
Mondelez ExxonMobil Transport for London GE General Electric
Ubisoft Baker McKenzie Bayer Cisco
Citi Bain & Company Diageo Mott MacDonald
BlackRock ARM Toyota American Express
Linklaters LLP National Grid Santander Freshfields LLP
DLA Piper LLP Balfour Beatty Credit Suisse Sony
Lidl AWE Merck Roche
Eversheds Sutherland Ministry of Defence FCA DSTL
PA Consulting Group Capital One HP Herbert Smith Freehills
Bird & Bird nucleargraduates Jacobs Engineering O2
Next Retail PLC Volkswagen Group Thames Water TK Maxx
Lloyd’s Babcock Norton Rose Fulbright RBS
E.ON Danone Enterprise Rent-A-Car Yorkshire Water
Allianz Hogan Lovells Frontline Barratt Developments
Bosch Schlumberger Simmons & Simmons National Audit Office
Asda Ashurst LLP Clyde & Co LLP Jagex
White & Case LLP CMS UK Pinsent Masons LLP DWF LLP
Ford Shoosmiths QinetiQ Abbott UK
Bond Dickinson Grant Thornton Honda UBS
BASF Kier Group Laing O’Rourke Capgemini
MACE EE Nationwide WPP
Zurich Insurance Blake Morgan Sainsbury’s SSE
BNP Paribas Taylor Wessing Total Anthony Gold Solicitors
Burges Salmon Skanska Tesco Nissan
Kirkland & Ellis BAM Construct UK British Sugar Jones Day
Reed Smith Addleshaw Goddard Reckitt Benckiser Ashfords
Caterpillar Lloyd’s Register AkzoNobe Johnson Matthey
Mishcon de Reya Thales Aviva Co-operative Bank
Anglian Water Services Shearman & Sterling LLP Dentons Nomura
Mayer Brown LLP MBDA Sellafield Centrica
CH2M Berwin Leighton Paisner ABB Carillion
Kennedys United Utilities Aon BDO
DHL Mills & Reeve LLP Osborne Clarke ScottishPower
Tata Steel Veolia Fujitsu Oracle
RPC Standard Life Latham & Watkins LLP UK Power Networks
Brodies LLP Air Products JCB Fuller, Smith & Turner
Fieldfisher Browne Jacobson LLP Celesio Digby Brown
npower Sir Robert McAlpine ConocoPhillips Freeths
Buro Happold Hill Dickinson LLP Nabarro LLP Wood Group
Dell Fidelity Imagination Technologies Petrofac
AXA Cummins King Phillips 66
Société Générale Atos DAC Beachcroft Ince & Co
Farrer & Co FDM 3M David Polk & Wardwell
McDonald’s Symantec Yahoo! Morgan Sindall
Travers Smith LLP Alstom Interserve Kimberly-Clark
Premier Solicitors Watson, Farley & Williams CGG Forsters LLP
Qualcomm Sullivan & Cromwell Weil, Gotshal & Manges Amey
BLM First Group Net-a-Porter RSM
Amec Foster Wheeler BG Group Bristows Dialog Semiconductor
Expedia Kerry Group Morrisons SAP
Bechtel Bevan Brittan LLP Ericsson Gowling WLG
Mercer Royal Mail Group Shakespeare Martinaeu CGI
INEOS Skadden Squire Patton Boggs Stevens & Bolton

How to Get into a Top Graduate Scheme or Job?

Competition for grad schemes and jobs offered by top employers is usually very fierce, with some companies hiring only 2-5% of applicants. Read the following tips to improve your chances of getting the position you want. 

  • Try to get as much work experience as possible. If you still have not graduated, consider applying for a work placement or a vacation scheme, preferably with an employer for whom you would like to work in the future. According to research, over a third of UK top graduate employers state that graduates with no previous work experience are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes.
  • Check for application opening and closing dates. You do not want to miss a great opportunity over a technicality. 
  • Research the employer and try to learn about its profile, services and clients, as well as its values and the qualities it looks for in prospective employees. It is a good idea to go over the company's website, to search the web for relevant articles and to contact current and former employees to get a comprehensive understanding. This will help you tailor your CV and cover letter and demonstrate relevant knowledge and skills during your interview. 
  • Find out what the recruitment process for the employer looks like. Different employers and positions require taking different tests. It is important to learn in advance which skills you will be assessed for so that you can sharpen them.
  • Start preparing for your assessments in advance. Employers expect you to come prepared for your tests, interviews, and other assessments. Allowing enough time for preparation will ensure you arrive in your best shape for the assessments. Coming to your examination prepared will also give you a competitive edge over the other applicants.


Come Prepared for Your Assessments

JobTestPrep’s accredited psychologists have created tailor-made practice solutions to help you prepare for various assessments you may face.

Choose an employer from the list above or get our all-inclusive graduate PrepPack™ and start practising now.

The Benefits of Preparing with JobTestPrep

These are some of the benefits of practising with a PrepPack™ from JobTestPrep:

  • Find practice resources for nearly every type of graduate assessment you may face—aptitude tests, situational judgement tests, personality tests, interviews, and assessment centre activities—all in one place.
  • Get a comprehensive learning experience. Our packs include multiple practice tests with full answer explanations as well as study guides and video tutorials, so you go to your assessments equipped with confidence and knowledge.
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