Take control of your future

You get more than just a degree with Essex Business School, you get a head start on your career. 

Our courses allow you to experience the cutting edge of modern business practices and are designed to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge that you will need for an exciting and fast-paced career in business and beyond. 

On this page you will find information on a wide variety of career pathways for business school graduates. From Accountant to Wall Street Wizard (yes, we encourage our graduates to build their own job titles where possible) you will discover where a degree from Essex Business School could take you.

We are a big department with academic expertise in five key subject areas: accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, management and marketing. Therefore, this page will guide you through the key skills and alumni destinations for each of our subject areas.

As business themes operate through every industry you will find that doors open for business school graduates in virtually every sector. On this page you’ll hear from business school graduates who have taken their opportunities and built upon the skills gained on their degrees to become entrepreneurs, traders, business leaders and so much more.

Which career will suit me?
  • Graduates from business subjects typically have good commercial awareness which makes them very versatile candidates and attractive to recruiters.
  • Many graduates go on to have successful careers in HR, finance, marketing, new venture creation and consulting and are often suited to professional level employment soon after graduation.
  • Graduates from Essex Business School are very well suited to entrepreneurship and often set up their own businesses either as students or shortly after graduating.

Career pathways

At Essex Business School, we have five core subject areas, plus The Essex MBA. To find out about the specific career prospects for your chosen subject, click on one of the panels below. To find out more about how Essex Business School supports your employability skills and career prospects more generally as a department, please keep scrolling.

How will a degree from Essex Business School benefit my career prospects?

What professional skills will I develop?

At Essex Business School, we are focussed on delivering a transformative education in business for our students. What this means is that from day one, we embed analytical, professional practice and personal effectiveness skills into our teaching to ensure that our graduates are well positioned for the graduate labour market.

All of our taught modules embed elements of our skills map which emulate the skills which are required by employers of business graduates, these include:

  • Academic and cognitive skills
    We aim to encourage you to think critically about business, to evaluate evidence and think creatively to solve problems in business. We support you in learning how to recognise rival conceptual ideas and how to bring together concepts and ideas to put forward a strong business case.
  • Research skills
    You will be encouraged to develop a range of research skills whereby you will identify research needs and aims, and suitable business frameworks and models to aid research aims. We will support you in learning how to use different research methods appropriately, how to identify applications of research, how to report on your research findings, as well as understanding plagiarism and referencing.
  • Technology skills
    Understanding and using technology is key to being a versatile business professional across a variety of disciplines. Therefore, we encourage you to develop core IT skills using standard Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook etc.) as well as understanding specialist software for your business subject, including programming and project management tools. We support you in working with data interactively through the use of dashboards and databases and in understanding how to visualise and manipulate data using industry benchmark software.
  • Communication skills
    Communication is vital to business operation, therefore, we ensure that our teaching aims to uplift your argumentation and essay writing skills alongside your ability to present successfully and coherently. We encourage you to express ideas for business purposes and to express research findings. You will also develop skills in communicating business ideas through written business reports.
  • Data analysis skills
    As data streams control almost every area of modern business, we aim to develop your skills in analysing both quantitative and qualitative data, as well as analysing academic literature for the purpose of developing your own business reports. We will support you in developing skills in the analysis of financial data as well as the analysis of different business report types using desk research and netnographic skills.
  • Soft skills
    Finally, there are many soft skills which are also desirable to graduate employers. We will teach you how to work in a team, as well as how to show leadership and act on your own initiative. We will encourage you to demonstrate motivation to succeed as well as showing adaptability to changing circumstances.

How will I develop these skills?

We've designed our modules to help you develop many of these skills at the same time as handling course material, however Essex Business School students also have two additional streams by which professional skills are taught, developed and nurtured:

  • Professional and Academic Development (PAD) module
    The PAD module is designed to help support your development, not only during your studies but also in your future professional career. Focusing on teaching career planning and employability skills on top of the specific business skills you will develop throughout your studies, the PAD module aims to ensure that all of our undergraduate students are career ready when they graduate.  Find out more about the PAD module.
  • Essex Business School Learning Team
    The role of the Essex Business School Learning Team is to provide extracurricular academic skills support specifically for Essex Business School students. The service is available for students of all levels and provides students with one to one support and tutoring on topics such as: referencing, understanding feedback, dissertation writing, time management, presentation skills and exams support. Find out more about the Essex Business School Learning Team.

Essex Business School students also benefit from the expertise offered by the University of Essex Careers Service who run regular training and workshops in professional skills development. The service extends beyond your time at Essex as graduates receive career support for life.

Additional to our embedded skills map, we also offer Digital Skills training which can be taken adjacent to your degree. Our Digital Skills: Transitioning to the Digital Workplace workshop series helps to prepare students for transitioning from studying to working and topping up their digital skillset in preparation for a more technology based work environment:

Will Essex Business School help me start my own business?

In short, yes. As a department we hold close ties with the University of Essex Startups Team as well as using our expertise in entrepreneurship to support our students with their new ventures.

Entrepreneurship is an increasingly popular graduate destination for students from all disciplines, but particularly for business graduates.

Essex Startups

The Essex Startups team are based in the Innovation Centre which is adjacent to the Essex Business School building at our Colchester campus and also provide their services for students on our Southend campus. We work closely with the team to deliver entrepreneurship workshops for our students as well as encouraging our students to join Essex Startups new business development streams.

Through Essex Startups and Angels@Essex you can bid for start-up funding varying from small loans and grants to larger scale investment opportunities.

Entrepreneurship at Essex Business School

Our Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship group form one of our key teaching and research areas at Essex Business School. Students at our Southend campus are taught by experts in new venture creation and small-medium enterprise (SME) development and are encouraged to be entrepreneurially minded.

Additionally, entrepreneurship is a theme which is woven into teaching across all of our taught programmes.

Student Start-Ups

WYSPR are an example of two Essex Business School graduates who took advantage of Essex Startup support and investment while students to launch their successful Social Media enterprise:

How will my degree help me succeed in a challenging job market?

Gaining a degree in a business subject means that you enter the graduate jobs market with credentials that employers want.

A degree in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance and banking, management or marketing from Essex Business School indicates to employers that you have applied knowledge in your specialised area alongside a desirable skills-set.

Your CV and job applications 

  • You will be able to discuss on your CV and in job applications relevant modules taken as part of your degree and how they relate to the role which you are applying for.
  • You will be able to write about how you meet the essential and desirable criteria for the role you are applying for by relating these back to the skills you have developed throughout your degree.
  • If you take a degree with a professional accreditation, you will be able to display essential credentials for the role that you are applying for.
  • If you take a placement year as part of your degree you will be able to demonstrate relevant work experience in your desired field.
  • If you take a year abroad as part of your degree you will be able to demonstrate a passion for internationalism and experience of working across different cultures.

Your professional and personal development

  • The communication skills which you will develop as part of your degree will help you to become more confident in delivering presentations and selling yourself to future employers.
  • You will gain skills in technologies and IT applications which are essential to working in modern business settings.
  • You will gain demonstrable skills in teamwork, leadership and showing your own initiative which will allow you to work within a team in a business setting at any level.
  • You will be able to demonstrate professional and academic ambition and motivation to succeed.

What else can I add to my degree to make me more employable?

At Essex Business School and the University of Essex we offer a number of add-ons to your degree which will allow you to gain valuable experience and skills in addition to your structured studies:

 

Q-Step

 

Q-Step is a quantitative skills pathway at the University of Essex which allows undergraduate students in Essex Business School to gain enhanced quantitative skills by enrolling on specific Q-Step modules.

 

If you follow the Q-Step pathway you will receive a qualifier award at the end of your degree which will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Whilst taking part in Q-Step you will also get the chance to apply for a paid internship of up to £300 per week.

 

Digital skills

 

Our Digital Skills workshop series aims to help our students transition from university to the business world.

 

The modern world of work depends upon digital applications and processes, our Digital Skills: Transitioning to the Digital Workplace programme allows our students to top up the technology and IT skills gained on their degree with advanced workshops in Excel, data analysis and visualisation and personal branding online.

 

Find out more about how digital upskilling can improve your employment chances in this blog post from University of Essex Careers Advisor, Kirsty Makepeace.

 

Year abroad

 

If you've got the travel bug, you can opt to take a study abroad or work abroad year as an additional year as part of your undergraduate degree. 

 

You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture by working or studying abroad which will give you an advantage in the global jobs market. The University of Essex has its own dedicated study abroad team in Essex Abroad who offer short-term, long-term study, work or volunteer abroad opportunities for Essex students.

 

Placement year

 

You can do a placement year with any of our undergraduate degrees at Essex Business School (students on our language courses can opt for a study abroad or work abroad placement year) - it's the best way to gain some hands-on experience for your CV. 


The Essex Careers Service work with our students to help you apply for nationwide placement schemes, such as those with Lloyds Banking Group and Samsung, as well as for more tailored opportunities at fast-growing SMEs and start-up companies. 


We'll support you through the whole process of securing a work placement. From the research right at the end of your first year / start of your second year, through to coaching you for writing your application and attending interviews and assessment centres - we'll be on hand to help.

"At Footprint Digital we are building a team that learns, plays and grows together. A team that supports each other to do the best work of our careers and deliver results that make us all proud. Essex graduates embody exactly what we look for in a Footprinter. They are sponges, not stones. They are curious, always looking to improve and work together to make it happen."
Tom Bowden DIRECTOR OF FOOTPRINT DIGITAL

Working with business

As a business school we are naturally aligned with business and business collaboration. We work with businesses and organisations in a number of ways which benefit our students, our teaching and our research:

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) bring together businesses with research expertise at the University of Essex.

Funded by Innovate UK and Research Councils, companies approach the University of Essex to recruit postgraduate students to become employed as Research Associates to support them with a project. 

Postgraduate students and alumni take up a fixed-term, paid position as a Research Associate while they work on the project with the company, the duration of which is usually 1-3 years. Around 70% of Research Associates find that they are offered a full-time role with their partnered company at the end of the project.

The University of Essex are the number 1 university in the UK for Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), the flagship Innovate UK programme.

Essex Business School postgraduate students have participated in a number of KTPs to date, including:

Laser 24 KTP

The Finishing Line KTP

Knowledge Gateway

Our building at our Colchester campus is located at the Knowledge Gateway, the University of Essex's research and technology park.

We sit alongside the Parkside Office Village and the Innovation Centre which makes us ideally situated for business collaboration. In fact, some of our recent graduates and alumni occupy spaces in both the Parkside Office Village and the Innovation Centre with their start-up businesses:

Mission Café

Arma Karma

Successful Futures

Successful Futures is Essex Business School's annual student employability conference.

We have a topical theme every year and invite representatives from local and global businesses to speak to our students and present their innovations and network with our students. 

Past themes have included: 

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Surviving Chaos: a Covid-19 retrospective
  • Why responsible business matters (more than ever)
  • The Future of Work

Past speakers have included:

  • Nandos
  • One World Pizza
  • Innocent Smoothies
  • Footprint Digital
  • WYSPR
  • Spin Scooters
  • Bright Network
  • KPMG
  • NHS
  • BT
Thanos Verousis, Lecturer in Finance delivers a lecture
Why guest speakers make a positive contribution to student motivation and employability

Dr Thanos Verousis is a Reader in Finance at Essex Business School, specialising in the study of financial markets and behavioural finance and he is passionate about bringing external industry speakers into the classroom. Read his mini-manifesto on guest speakers to find out more.

Read the blog

Skills development at Essex Business School