Chapter 2 Employers

We work with a wide range of employers from the smallest bedroom startup to the worlds largest multi-national corporations, and are always looking for more organisations that can offer our students a stimulating working environment. According to highfliers.co.uk, the University of Manchester is the most targeted University in the UK by the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. (Birchall 2019a, 2019b, 2019c) We can still do better, for example by engaging with a more diverse group of employers, especially those in Manchester and the Northern Powerhouse, see git.io/manc. (Hull 2019c; Davis 2014a, 2014b; Ovenden 2019; Wainwright 2019)

Any employer recruiting our students is welcome to join our industry club, see details below

Figure 2.1: Any employer recruiting our students is welcome to join our industry club, see details below

2.1 Recruiting students

If you are recruiting computer scientists and software engineers as a summer interns, placement students or as graduates please get in touch with me or Mabel Yau (careers and placements officer). We typically have around 250 undergraduate students graduating annually, alongside a smaller number of Masters and PhD students. The entry tariff of our students (A* AA including A* in mathematics) is comparable to other leading Computer Science (CS) departments in Russell Group universities as shown in the table below.

Institute UCAS entry tariff CS Students per year
University of Cambridge A* A* A ~100
University College London A* A* A ~150
University of Manchester A* A A ~250
Imperial College London A* A A ~200
University of Oxford A* A A ~50

A demographic breakdown of our students in Computer Science is show in Figure~2.2. If you are looking to recruit science and engineering students from other disciplines like Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Mechnical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering (MACE), Materials Science and Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE) you should talk to: * staff in those departments and/or * the central careers service at careers.manchester.ac.uk

Where our undergraduate students come from: As of October 2019 we have 877 undergraduate Computer Science students divided between UK/EU (shown in green), EU not UK (shown in orange) and non-EU overseas (shown in yellow)

Figure 2.2: Where our undergraduate students come from: As of October 2019 we have 877 undergraduate Computer Science students divided between UK/EU (shown in green), EU not UK (shown in orange) and non-EU overseas (shown in yellow)

2.2 Careers fairs

Our annual Computer Science careers fair is held in the Kilburn building in autumn, we typically have around 30 employers exhibiting over two days. As space is limited, we are always over-subscribed and are not able to accommodate every employer that our students will be interested in. We give priority to employers that offer internships, placements and graduate roles and have contributed to our community through the activities described on this page. The central careers service also organises:

2.3 Drop-in sessions

If you aren’t willing or able to exhibit at careers fairs, we also run ad-hoc drop-in sessions where employers can come in and set up a stand in the foyer to talk to computer science students informally on their way to and from lectures. These usually happen during lunch in term time. If you’re interested in exhibiting at either of these events, please contact the careers and placements officer Mabel Yau.

2.4 Industry Club

All employers are welcome to join our industry club mailing list by sending an email to with the the text subscribe cs-industryclub yourfirstname yoursecondname in the body of the email message. The industry club is part of our wider business engagement activities.

The mailing list is low-traffic, typically two to three updates per year and an invitation to our annual industry club meeting. We promise not to spam you or sell your email details on to third parties.

2.5 Industrial mentoring

The Industrial mentoring scheme for software engineers allows employers meet students during code review sessions.

2.6 The Wednesday Waggle

During term time, we highlight events and vacancies for Computer Science students from a wide range of sources in a weekly newsletter called the Wednesday Waggle 🐝. This goes out to around ~1000 Bachelors and Masters students in Manchester each week. If you have vacancies or events you would like our students to know about, get in touch with us or contact the careers service.

2.7 Join the community

There is a thriving community of engineers and entrepreneurs in Manchester and across the North of England. One of the best ways to recruit engineers and scientists is to join and contribute to the community. Get involved in events, sponsor a hackathon, deliver a guest lecture, host your own event or become a software engineering mentor. Employers who engage early and often are much more likely to get something back. As an employer, you may also be interested in events run by:

If you’re a startup new to employment, you may find the guide at gov.uk/employ-someone useful.

2.8 Buzzing!

At peak times, we can get very busy with many concurrent employer events on campus. (Birchall 2019b) Please be patient and persistent if we do not reply immediately. Unfortunately, we are not always able to respond to everyone because our students, staff and space are all finite resources. We give priority to employers that have already given their time and expertise to our community.

According to [highfliers.co.uk](https://www.highfliers.co.uk), the University of Manchester is the most targeted University in the UK by the [Times Top 100 Graduate Employers](https://www.top100graduateemployers.com) [@highfliers2019]

Figure 2.3: According to highfliers.co.uk, the University of Manchester is the most targeted University in the UK by the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers (Birchall 2019b)

2.9 Employability

We are working hard to improve the employability of students because while having a Computer Science is necessary for some jobs, it is not sufficient. (Aaron 2013; Shadbolt 2016; Fincher and Finlay 2016; Fincher, Finlay, and Davies 2017) Over the last decade we have been successful in more than doubling the number of our students going on year long placements in industry. This is a win-win-win situtation for:

  1. Students: benefit from a broader education, and develop social and non-cognitive skills that can be challenging to teach and learn in a purely academic environment. This is known as the winning personality (Vries and Rentfrow 2016)
  2. Employers: placements are a cost-effective way for employers to recruit (and retain) graduate talent
  3. Universities: produce better graduates with broader and deeper skills, who earn more and get better jobs (Vries and Rentfrow 2016)
year placement started No. of Computer Science undergraduate students on placement
2011 42
2012 45
2013 70
2014 54
2015 70
2016 65
2017 100
2018 97
2019 110

In 2019 our students have secured year long placements at Accenture, Agilent Technologies, Amazon (2), AND Digital, Apadmi (5), Arggo, ARM (5), Autodesk, AVL Powertrain, BAML, BBC (2), Biorelate, BJSS, Bloomberg (2), BMW Mini, Bsquare Controls (2), BT, Cantarus (3), Celtra, CERN (3), Codethink, d3t, Elysian Systems, Feral Interactive (2), Fidelity, FiveAI, HMRC, IBM (2), Imagination Technologies, Intel (4), ISA Software (2), JP Morgan (4), Keysight Technologies, KPMG (1), Matillion (4), McAfee (2), Mentor Graphics (4), Monoprix, Morgan Stanley (2), NCC Group, Nokia, Nomura, Novacoast (2), Ocado (3), PA Consulting, PwC, Schlumberger, ServiceNow, Siemens (3), Soda Software, SteamaCo, The Hut Group (10) The Start Up Factory (2), Uber, Visa and Vodafone.

There’s still more we can do to improve the employability of our graduates. If you’d like to help our graduates become more employable, get in touch.

References

Aaron, Anonymous. 2013. “Why Your Computer Science Degree Won’t Get You a Job.” TARGET jobs. https://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/it-and-technology/323039-why-your-computer-science-degree-wont-get-you-an-it-job.

Birchall, Martin. 2019a. “Civil Service Named the UK’s Number One Graduate Employer.” The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. https://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/2019/top100/Top-100-Release-2019.pdf.

Birchall, Martin. 2019b. The Graduate Market in 2019: Annual Review of Graduate Vacancies & Starting Salaries at the UK’s Leading Employers. High Fliers Research Limited. https://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/2019/graduate_market/GMReport19.pdf.

Birchall, Martin. 2019c. The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2019-2020. High Fliers Publications Ltd. https://www.top100graduateemployers.com.

Davis, Evan. 2014a. “Mind the Gap: London V the Rest.” BBC TWO. London: bbc.co.uk. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03xhcjg.

Davis, Evan. 2014b. “The Case for Making Hebden Bridge the UK’s Second City.” BBC NEWS. London: bbc.co.uk. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26472423.

Fincher, Sally, and Janet Finlay. 2016. “Computing Graduate Employability: Sharing Practice.” Kent: Council of Professors; Heads of Computing CPHC. https://kar.kent.ac.uk/53848/.

Fincher, Sally, Janet Finlay, and Sebastian Davies. 2017. “Building a Graduate Employability Community in Computing: The GECCO Workshops.” Kent: Council of Professors; Heads of Computing CPHC. https://kar.kent.ac.uk/61539/.

Hull, Duncan. 2019c. “The Northern Software House: Tech Employers in the North West #NotJustLondon.” Github. https://git.io/manc.

Ovenden, Mark. 2019. “Manhattan-chester: Unprecedented Residential Building in Manchester Is Happening - Very High up. Nine Towers of over 25 Storeys Have Appeared in the Past Three Years, so What’s Fuelling the Change?” BBC Radio 4. London: bbc.co.uk. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000182g.

Shadbolt, Nigel. 2016. “An Independent Review of Computer Science Degree Accreditation and Graduate Employability.” Department for Business, Innovation & Skills; Higher Education Funding Council for England. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/computer-science-degree-accreditation-and-graduate-employability-shadbolt-review.

Vries, Robert de, and Jason Rentfrow. 2016. “A Winning Personality: The Effects of Background on Personality and Earnings.” The Sutton Trust. https://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Winning-Personality-FINAL.pdf.

Wainwright, Oliver. 2019. “Welcome to Manc-Hattan: How the City Sold Its Soul for Luxury Skyscrapers.” The Guardian. London: theguardian.com. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/oct/21/welcome-to-manc-hattan-how-the-city-sold-its-soul-for-luxury-skyscrapers.