Your (apparently unrelated) degree can land you a job in tech

Good post from my colleague Alison Parkinson on how very different degrees relate well to careers in tech. There are even more connections with physics & astronomy degrees so it’s a popular choice with students

The Careers Service Blog

Alison Parkinson,  Employer Engagement Adviser, picked up some very positive messages from a recent event.

We had four fantastic speakers on campus recently – debunking the myth that you have to have studied a particular degree discipline to work in a tech role or for a tech company. Not so!

  • Emma Langmean is Digital Adoption Experience Manager with RBS, joining them after her History of Art degree
  • Laura Wilson studied International Business with French here and is now working as a Data Scientist at Skyscanner
  • Katie Barker-Ward, studied History and is now a Senior Transformation Consultant with Waterstons
  • Andy is UX Team Lead at FreeAgent and studied Music Performance and Technology

Their Top 10 tips:

  1. There is a massive range of roles in tech- not all about programming, at our recent Careers in Tech fair around half of the 50 + organisations who attended were recruiting students from any discipline.

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Working for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Curious? On Thursday 9th May, Kara Owen, Director, Americas at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will be giving insights and advice for those interested in working for the FCO. Her profile can be found here.

To book in to the event, visit MyCareerHub




Employ.ed in an SME summer internships

We are now advertising the Employ.ed in an SME summer internships on MyCareerHub until 7th April!

26 internships are currently live with a couple still to come. All are paid at the actual living wage or more (£9 p/h or £10.55 for London).

You can see the full details, including a list of internships and the eligibility criteria here:

The programme is open to all years of UG study and there are also a couple of part time roles PG students can apply to.


How to anticipate interview questions

Very helpful interview advice from my colleague

The Careers Service Blog

A key part of interview preparation should be anticipating the range of questions you are likely to be asked. Suzanne Agnew explains how you can approach this task:


Part of the service the Careers Service offers is tailored practice interviews (which are available via Skype and telephone as well as face to face).  How do we know what to ask?  Obviously, it’s down to professional experience but the way that we anticipate interview questions is something that you can do too.

Go back in time

What made you apply for this job in the first place?  Interviews are used as a way to explore your motivation and fit for the organisation.  Questions here shouldn’t be a surprise!  Be able to articulate why you are right for the role and what attracts you to this organisation.  No organisation exists in a bubble so be prepared for questions which look to discover how much you…

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Career Development Summer Scholarships programme

The School of Physics & Astronomy is running its Career Development Summer Scholarships programme again. Details here

There are a numbers of funded industry and academic projects available to students in years 3 and 4.

Closing date is March 4th. There is some great feedback from students who did projects last year including:


After the 6 week placement, I was kept on as an employee. During my time at Bright Ascension, I learned a lot about programming, intellectual property, starting a business and different business models, methods of workplace motivation, workplace responsibilities, the space industry, professional report writing, giving presentations, communicating with investors, and much more.”


“I found the experience (at the Institute for Astronomy) really rewarding as it allowed me to work with new people and improve my programming skills. It was good to do something completely different from what we do at university and to work on unsolved problems.”

Your future, your job search… and Brexit

Very informative post from our labour market blog

The Careers Service Blog

As the clock ticks down until Britain leaves the EU on March 29th we look at some of the implications of Brexit for our students and graduates..

While everyone has their opinion on the outcome of 2016’s referendum it is notable that, as this article shows,  85% of higher education students in the UK voted to remain. The representative body of the Higher Education sector, Universities UK, voices concerns about the effect on university students, staff and research and its #SupportStudyAbroad  campaign aims to mitigate the effect on the Erasmus+ programme of a no-deal outcome.

Besides anxiety that employment prospects in the UK will suffer from economic downturn, there are concerns about the impact on opportunities for EU students to work in the UK after graduation and for UK students seeking experience in the EU.

The impact on the graduate labour market has been widely discussed, surveys conducted and…

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Careers in Technology Fair – Wed 27th Feb

Here is a chance to challenge your thinking on what a career in tech looks like. It is an easy way to get to a range of organisations offering work experience and graduate roles related to tech. There will be Over 50 employers with internships and graduate opportunities and some interesting talks including:

How is tech changing roles across industries?Speakers will share fantastic examples of how tech is changing industries you might not traditionally think of as tech – agriculture, energy and medicine.

Open to students from all year groups – around half of the 50 + organisations attending will be recruiting students from any discipline, so don’t rule yourself out.  They want physics & astronomy students!

It doesn’t matter what stage you are at in your course or in planning your career, you can come along to this fair and find out about options for your future. Find out more here

Student Space Careers Conference 2 & 3 March

The National Student Space Conference is to be held in Scotland for the first time. Taking place on 2 and 3 March in Edinburgh, the event will include companies involved in planned spaceports in Sutherland and Shetland.

This event (co-ordinated this year by Lewis Lappin, the conference’s local co-ordinator and a past president of the university’s Physics and Astronomy Society) has proved so popular it has sold out although they are seeing if more tickets can be released.  Even if you can’t go, it’s a good idea to look and see:

  • who the speakers are and where from (good contacts and/or potential employers)
  • who the sponsors are  (potential employers!)

Details of speakers, sponsors and companies are here

Representatives from US aeronautics giant Lockheed Martin and Edinburgh-based space launch company Skyrora plus Airbus will be there and they are all on MyCareerHub so they are already interested in our students and graduates

Lewis Lappin said:

“I am really excited to be bringing the National Student Space Conference to Edinburgh.

“With a booming industry and plenty of world class research right on our door steps, it is an amazing time to be interested in the space industry.

“I hope this event will help inspire and educate fellow students about the careers opportunities in the space sector.”



IAESTE – more than just a summer placement

Summer experience abroad through IAESTE – great story from one of our science students

The Careers Service Blog

Thanks to Desi Davidkova (4th year, Ecological and Environmental Sciences with Management) for this motivational read.

If you are a STEM student interested in getting an international, paid internship in your study field, keep on reading!  I am going to share how thanks to IAESTE I got the opportunity to aid climate change research at a German university and work on the environmental management plans of a mining site in Turkey. Travelling and meeting other international working students were only some of the other benefits.

IAESTE stands for International Association for Exchange of Students for Technical Experience. The organization is present in more than 90 countries, supported by student volunteers. In the UK it is directed by the British Council so don’t hesitate to stop at their stall at the next Careers Fair.

I initially learned about IAESTE at the end of my first year. I was not looking for…

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NHS Clinical Scientist Training Programme (STP) 2019 – open for applications

Want to work as an NHS scientist? Good post by my colleague Rachel Taylor as an introduction.

The Careers Service Blog

Rachel Taylor, Careers Consultant, summarises key points about the 2019 NHS England STP recruitment programme.

Applications opened on 9 January for the 2019 intake of the NHS England STP and will close on 8 February.  The STP is a three year postgraduate training programme during which you will be employed by the NHS in a particular specialism of healthcare science.   There are a large number of possible specialisms in a number of different locations within the areas of Clinical Bioinformatics, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Physiological Sciences.   Following completion of this programme, you will be eligible to apply for clinical scientist posts.

Getting a place on the programme is tough – on average there are 20 applications per STP place (this varies depending on specialism).  Top tips for your application:

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