Supporting your success

Careers and employability

Careers Fair 2018

Your future matters

Our support for you extends beyond your time as a students with us. We want to help you achieve your career aspirations as a graduate too, by connecting you with employers and preparing you for a future beyond the University of Essex.

Looking to study with us? Sign-up and keep in touch and we'll ensure you have all the information you need to know.


From Nobel prize winners, to world famous directors, cutting-edge scientists, political icons, novelists, boxing champions, journalists, and entrepreneurs, Essex’s alumni continue to make significant contributions in their chosen fields all over the world.

Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our inspiring alumni across countless industries by viewing our notable alumni page.

Did you know?
  • 90% of our undergraduate graduates are in employment or further study, while 90% of our postgraduate graduates are in highly skilled employment - Graduate Outcomes 2023. 
  • We are ranked 24th for international outlook in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023.
  • From pre-arrival Preparation Programmes for all study levels, to professional placement and work opportunities within the University and in industry, we are supporting your future through every stage of your Essex journey.

At Essex, we make sure you stand out in a competitive job market 

Our careers service can offer you a wealth of support to jump-start your career. We include career-focused modules across all our degree and provide mentoring opportunities for all students. Set yourself up for success by putting what you learn into practice, which could include helping our entrepreneurial students their own business. 

How we can help you

Careers events

We offer free events throughout the year to help you prepare for the global job market and to meet potential employers. We have previously run CV workshops, subject specific career sessions such as 'Careers in Psychology', alternative job search workshops, and fairs for you to meet local businesses and discuss opportunities with employers.

Industry network building

Our leading academic staff are industry active. This means that as you study, you will have the opportunity to seek hands-on experience through work placements whilst growing your own network in your area of interest.

Advice and guidance

Applying for jobs isn't a walk in the park, but if you make the most of the support and guidance on offer, you'll be ready to commence your job hunt. We offer CV support, practice interviews, and test and assessment preparation. Our career advisors can help you make the most of the support we offer.

Modules dedicated to supporting your career

A lot of our degrees include compulsory career modules each year of study. This means you will have dedicated time spent on preparing you for a future career, and the opportunity to consider how your new academic skills will be useful in the world of work. 

More than your degree

Placement year

How better to prepare for building your career than by immersing yourself in the industry as part of your degree? Many of our degrees offer the option of a placement year, giving you the opportunity to gain real-world experience relevant to your career ambitions. Your degree will extend to four years, with your third year taken in placement in the UK or abroad.

Benefits of doing a placement year include:

  • Your CV will stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs
  • You will be able to apply your studies directly in the workplace, before you have graduated
  • You will develop your professional skills, so will know what to expect when you begin your career
  • It will give you the opportunity to learn more about your dream job, and decide whether it's the right path for you

Find out more about placements

Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to help your local community whilst getting some work experience. We have a dedicated group run by our Students' Union called VTeam, which offer various volunteering opportunities throughout the year. You can also get involved with St John Ambulance, our advice centre, mentoring and more.

Job opportunities on campus 

As part of our cost of living support package for students, we have expanded the employment opportunities available on campus and increased the number of hours of work available in both Colchester and Southend. Roles at our campuses include Student Ambassadors, Frontrunners, Accommodation representatives, shop assistants, catering staff and much more. Find our more about student job opportunities on campus.

We have our own job vacancy board, Essex CareerHub, which shares opportunities we think our students will be interested in, and it also includes local employer vacancies. You'll still have access to it after you graduate too.

Employability and skills award

The Big Essex Award is an employability and skills award with different levels, each level can be achieved by completing a variety of different activities. This means all the extracurricular achievements you do whilst a university count towards it and it's included on your university transcript. 

Getting started

Career mentoring 

Through the Career Mentoring Programme, you'll be matched with an experienced professional for one-to-one guidance and career coaching for a period of six months. Your mentor is available to support you, listen to you, share their expertise and empower you! What's more, you and your mentor will decide the goals you'll be working towards, so each participating student will gain a unique mentoring experience. 

Essex Startups

The Essex Startups team offers students and graduates who are interested in starting their own business, support throughout their entrepreneurial journey. No matter what stage your business is at, we are here to help you with advice, workshops and tips. With a range of highly skilled mentors, you can be sure that we can offer trusted and sincere advice on your next steps.

We are here to help you if:

  • you've got an idea for a business
  • you're starting your business
  • your business is up and running

Find out more about the scheme and how we support your entrepreneurial abilities

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

The UK-wide Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) programme helps businesses innovate through targeted collaboration with leading academics and highly qualified graduates. We are the number 1 university in the UK for KTPs, that flagship Innovate UK programme.


A KTP is a collaboration between three parties:

  • A university 
  • A company or not for profit organisation 
  • A talented graduate or postgraduate know as a KTP Associate, who are recruited and employed by the university to work within the business to apply their skillset to find solutions and innovations to real world business problems. 


Projects usually focus on a problem in a key area of a company's business, such as product design or developing new management processes. KTPs are designed to enable the partnering company to gain competitive advantage - and ultimately to improve profitability.

A KTP is a fantastic springboard to launch a career with, and offer great starting salaries (£32-33k). The average duration of a KTP is 2 years, with around 70% of associate being offered a full time role at the end of the term. For international students this is also a great opportunity to switch to the Global Talent visa which allows you to stay in the UK for 5+ years.

If you want to apply your degree, start a job straight away and gain a professional qualification, then a Knowledge Transfer Partnership is what you're looking for. You should be inquisitive, bright and serious about getting ahead.

To find out more speak to your department to discover what opportunities are available.

Take your degree further

Every student arrives at Essex with spirit and determination to succeed. But, once you graduate you need to know you are set for great things. At Essex we prepare you for what happens next, we give you the support to find the career that's right for you and help you build your CV so you are ready for your next challenge. There are options available for students with immigration permission who wish to work in the UK following the successful completion of their studies at Essex. 

Identify your talents and maximise your potential

Our Skills for Success team and Careers Services Team will help you identify and improve your talents and strengths and help you maximise your potential CV. We will:

  • Provide support and resources to improve your writing and study skills.
  • Provide free academic English classes for students with English as an additional language.
  • Offer support for you to improve your mathematics, statistics, numeracy and problem-solving skills.
  • Help you to develop your digital skills and learn to be effective online when you're studying, researching and networking, as well as ensuring that you are ready for the workplace.
  • Provide one-to-one sessions to discuss your future career ambition.
  • Organise career events, workshops and advice sessions to help with everything from CV writing to interview skills.
  • Give advice on part-time, vacation and graduate job opportunities, both on and off campus.
  • Provide opportunities to meet and receive mentoring from employers.
  • Run the Chart my Path and The Big Essex Award - your chance to record your work experience and extra-curricular activities on your degree transcript.
  • Help to support you in starting your own business with advice, workshops and tips with Essex Startups.

Developing new skills

At Essex, we are here to give you every opportunity to thrive in the global job market after graduating. Here are just some of the new skills you can learn alongside your degree to help unlock your true potential.

Languages for all

This award-winning programme gives Essex students the opportunity to learn a language alongside their degree, at no extra cost, for one year. Having foreign language or British Sign Language skills will set you apart from other graduates by giving you a competitive edge in graduate employment, expanding your options for studying, working or travelling abroad and increasing your global and cultural awareness.

Data for all

At Essex, we offer our unique, free, online or lab-based data science courses for all students. Having skills that can use raw, unstructured data to determine patterns, trends and correlations in ways that inform action will be key in working life and will give our graduates a distinct advantage in today’s competitive job market.

Study abroad

Our students can study, work or volunteer at one of our global partner institutions for a semester, a short course or even a full year. Take up the opportunity to study abroad and gain valuable academic experiences. Studying abroad offers you a wealth of personal and professional advantages when you enter the global job market.

Reasons to study abroad:

  • Develop your independence
  • Immerse yourself in another country and culture in a way that's not always possible as a tourist
  • Boost your employability with the transferable skills and unique experiences you can share with employers

Find out more about study abroad

Where might your course lead you?

If you know what course you want to study, but you aren't sure what type of career it might lead to, or you know the career you want but you are not sure what course to studyto help you get there, we have further careers information available on our department pages. Each covers the transferable skills you will gain from their courses, and what employers are looking for in individuals with those skills.


Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Faculty of Science and Health

Faculty of Social Sciences