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Career Options in Recruitment & Human Resources: Graduate

Got a degree? Great! You can be unleashed into the world of recruitment and human resources if you so choose.

Graduate opportunities in recruitment and human resources

- Graduate level entry roles

- Graduate schemes

Recruitment agencies are regularly on the lookout for new starters and will advertise for graduates for their entry level roles. You should be able to find opportunities with these companies all year round. Some recruitment roles will involve work across various sectors, whereas others may focus on a particular industry or market, so you could stay in line with your degree interests and get involved with recruitment within a sector you’re familiar with.

Companies of all sorts of sizes tend to have a human resources team with opportunities for graduates. These could be trainee roles, or follow a graduate scheme structure.

If you work for a HR team that’s part of a global company, it’s very possible that there will be some international opportunities that could open up through your graduate scheme too. You could specialise in a generalist area of HR, talent management or even graduate recruitment. A graduate scheme will allow you to take up responsibilities in the team, learn from colleagues, and set you up for a career in the sector. Graduate schemes can lead to permanent jobs with the company occasionally too.

Will my degree do?

An undergraduate degree (usually at a 2:1 (or equivalent), although you could still be considered by some employers with a 2:2) will set you up for entry into a career in either recruitment or HR. In the majority of cases, a degree from any discipline will do the trick.

Some headhunter roles can require you to have a degree in a certain subject and some commercial experience in order to be eligible. For example, if you’re specialising in recruitment in the legal or business sector, it’s going to be a real advantage that you have an appreciation of the work the people you are trying to recruit do and the industry they work in.

Is postgraduate study necessary?

If you want to head into a recruitment role or down the HR route, you won’t usually have to acquire any qualification higher than an undergraduate degree to be eligible for entry level graduate roles.

In some HR roles, you may study for HR professional qualifications to broaden your knowledge of the sector. It’s likely that your employer will support you in taking on these studies alongside full-time work.