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 2020a, 2020b, 2019) 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 2020c; Davis 2014a, 2014b; Ovenden 2019; Wainwright 2019)
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
- The Institute of Student Employers (ISE)
- The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS)
- The Work Based and Placement Learning Association (ASET)
If you’re a startup new to employment, you may find the guide at gov.uk/employ-someone useful.
At peak times, we can get very busy with many concurrent employer events on campus. (Birchall 2020b) 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.
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:
- 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).
- Employers: placements are a cost-effective way for employers to recruit (and retain) graduate talent
- Universities: produce better graduates (Mandilaras 2004) with broader and deeper skills, who earn more and get better jobs (Vries and Rentfrow 2016). Well paid placements can also facilitate social mobility. (Wang and Crawford 2018)
|year placement started||No. of Computer Science undergraduate students on placement|
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, the 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.
Aaron, Anonymous. 2013. “Why Your Computer Science Degree Won’t Get You a Job.” https://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/it-and-technology/323039-why-your-computer-science-degree-wont-get-you-an-it-job.
Birchall, Martin. 2019. The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2019-2020. High Fliers Publications Ltd. https://www.top100graduateemployers.com.
Birchall, Martin. 2020a. “Graduate Jobs at the Uk’s Top Employers Grew by 6.2.” The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. https://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/2020/graduate_market/GM20Release.pdf.
Birchall, Martin. 2020b. The Graduate Market in 2020: Annual Review of Graduate Vacancies & Starting Salaries at the UK’s Leading Employers. High Fliers Research Limited. https://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/2020/graduate_market/GM20Report.pdf.
Davis, Evan. 2014a. “Mind the Gap: London V the Rest.” BBC TWO. https://bbc.in/36KWP6i.
Davis, Evan. 2014b. “The Case for Making Hebden Bridge the UK’s Second City.” BBC News. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26472423.
Fincher, Sally, and Janet Finlay. 2016. “Computing Graduate Employability: Sharing Practice.” https://kar.kent.ac.uk/53848/.
Fincher, Sally, Janet Finlay, and Sebastian Davies. 2017. “Building a Graduate Employability Community in Computing: The GECCO Workshops.” https://kar.kent.ac.uk/61539/.
Hull, Duncan. 2020c. “The Northern Software House: Tech Employers in the North West #NotJustLondon.” Github. https://git.io/manc.
Mandilaras, Alexandros. 2004. “Industrial Placement and Degree Performance: Evidence from a British Higher Institution.” International Review of Economics Education 3 (1): 39–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1477-3880(15)30146-8.
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. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000182g.
Shadbolt, Nigel. 2016. “An Independent Review of Computer Science Degree Accreditation and Graduate Employability.” 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.” 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. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/oct/21/welcome-to-manc-hattan-how-the-city-sold-its-soul-for-luxury-skyscrapers.
Wang, Zhiqi, and Ian Crawford. 2018. “Who Are Gaining the Highly Paid Elite Placements in UK Higher Education?” Studies in Higher Education 44 (11): 1960–74. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1476482.