Jobs for International Students in the UK & How to Get One
If you’re looking for jobs for international students in the UK, then you’ve come to the right place.
We at Grad Careers have worked with hundreds of international students and helped them to successfully secure top graduate jobs in the UK.
We speak to so many students like you every week and we get asked these 5 questions all the time.
So, I wanted to answer them for you in this video. This first video will answer Questions 1 – 3.
This article and video is perfect for you if you’re an international student who is currently studying at a UK university on a Tier 4 student visa.
The questions are:
- “I need a list of Tier 2 graduate jobs? Can you send me this?”
- “Is it easier to get visa sponsorship for specific industries? Which ones?”
- “I keep getting rejected because of my visa status, what should I do?”
- “What can I do to successfully secure a Tier 2 graduate job?”
- “I’ve got less than 6 months left on my Tier 4 visa, can I still get a job in the UK?”
Jobs for International Students in the UK Part 1:
Question 1 – “I need a list of Tier 2 graduate jobs? Can you send me this?”
The good news is that there are plenty of jobs for international students in the UK.
We know this because every year we successfully secure top graduate jobs for our international students which come with the Tier 2 visa sponsorship.
And if you look at the government website you can view the whole Tier 2 sponsor list. There are nearly 30,000 companies on this list.
But it doesn’t mean 30,000 companies are willing to sponsor you, it just means that they have the legal licence to.
So as an international student, I bet you just want to have a list of companies that regularly sponsor students like you.
We know how frustrating it is going through this huge list of companies. Especially as you’re already so busy with your studies.
You want to save valuable time and not have to look up thousands of companies so that you can focus on the ones that definitely will offer you the Tier 2 sponsorship.
Luckily, we can help you!
How we can help you:
We help you find better job matches, and stop you wasting time applying to companies that will automatically reject you.
That’s why we exist, to help students get the right graduate jobs quicker.
For our coaching programme members, we send you a regular list of suitable Tier 2 graduate jobs that are available right now and come with sponsorship.
It takes us time to create this list as we have to filter out all of the companies that no longer sponsor.
Each student receives a slightly different list depending on their interests, skills and experience.
What to do next:
To find out more about how we can help you, simply fill out our form below and we’ll send you an email with an application form.
You can book in a call with our team, and we can discuss our coaching programmes and answer any questions you have.
There’s no obligation to sign up to our programme, it’s just to see whether you’re right for the programme and we can go from there.
Moving on now to the second question:
Question 2. “Is it easier to get visa sponsorship for specific industries? Which ones?”
The short answer is yes.
When it comes to jobs for international students in the UK, you’re more likely to get visa sponsorship for certain industries as they have more opportunities available, and a proven record of sponsoring international students like you.
Remember, there’s no point applying to hundreds of jobs if none of them offer sponsorship.
It’s about being smart and using a job strategy that works and the top industries offering tier 2 sponsorship are:
- Accounting, Consulting and Professional Services
- Banking and Finance
- Engineering and Technology
Now this doesn’t mean there are no jobs for international students in the UK in other industries for example Law or Media but that there are fewer opportunities available, and the chances of job success are lower.
For this reason, at Grad Careers we only work with international students who wish to apply to these 3 industries.
In fact, the majority of our students successfully secure graduate jobs with sponsorship in Accounting, Consulting, Professional Services, Banking and Finance.
Now you might be thinking, how can I work in these areas if I’m not studying a relevant degree, or if I don’t have any relevant work experience?
Well the good news is that these industries hire students from ALL degree backgrounds.
For most graduate jobs in Accounting, Consulting, Professional Services, Banking and Finance, you can be studying any degree.
How can I apply to the industry that’s not related to my degree?
You don’t have to be an Accounting student to apply for an Audit Graduate Programme, or to work at an Investment Bank.
Similarly, you don’t have to have work experience at a Consulting firm to apply to the Consulting industry.
In fact, professional services firms want to hire a diverse set of graduates. They want students who have different degrees, not just ones who have studied Accounting and Finance.
UK employers actively look for skills, not just academic background.
Of course, related experience can help, but the most important thing you must do is demonstrate your transferable skills.
Graduate recruiters are simply looking for potential to do well in the job.
Once you’re offered the job, you’ll be given extensive training. You aren’t expected to have done the job before.
Attitude is everything:
Just prove to the employer you’re passionate and genuinely motivated about working there, you’ll work hard and you have the right skills for the job.
Question 3. “I keep getting rejected because of my visa status, what should I do?”
Nearly every single time we speak to an international student, we are asked this question.
We know how frustrating it is to hear from an employer that they can’t accept your application because you don’t have the right to work in the UK.
I mean, it’s not your fault – and there isn’t much you can do about this.
So why am I getting rejected?
Firstly, yes there are companies that are not willing to sponsor your Tier 2 work visa, even if they have the licence to do so.
As an international student, you’re probably thinking well if a company has the Tier 2 licence then why don’t they want to sponsor me?
There are 2 main reasons why, firstly:
It’s too much responsibility:
One of the reasons is because visa sponsorship can be viewed as an extra responsibility for the employer.
When you look at the official government website on sponsoring foreign workers, you can see a list of responsibilities for the employer for example, they have to monitor their employee’s immigration status and keep track of their attendance.
Employer is unfamiliar with the sponsorship process
A major reason is that the HR team or Hiring Manager at the company is not familiar with the process of hiring an international student.
They assume it will be more paperwork and hassle, so they prefer to take on a UK student instead.
In the past, some of our international students have had to explain to the employer the process of sponsoring them. If you, as an international student, can confidently explain how simple the sponsorship process is, the employer is more likely to sponsor you.
It is up to you to work with the employer and help to make their lives easier.
Of course, this conversation should be had only at the point where you’ve impressed the employer and they want to hire you. After your interviews and assessment centre, for example. Once the hiring manager knows and likes you.
You simply need to focus on the ones that can sponsor you.
The answer is change your job strategy. Stop applying for companies who are not willing to sponsor your Tier 2 visa, as this can be a complete waste of time.
This second video will answer Questions 4 & 5:
Jobs for International Students in the UK Part 2:
Question 4. “What else can I do to successfully secure a Tier 2 graduate job?”
So when thinking about jobs for international students in the UK, we know that you should make sure you’re applying to the right companies that are willing to sponsor you, but what else can you do?
– Firstly, apply early!
The best time to apply to graduate jobs is from mid-August/early September.
This is when UK employers will open their graduate roles.
Applying early means you’re preparing well ahead and at a time when you won’t be as busy with exams and assignments.
You’ll get a feel of what’s required of you and how the UK graduate recruitment process actually works.
This doesn’t mean that if you don’t apply early that you’ll automatically miss out on getting a job.
In fact the biggest graduate employers are changing their recruiting strategy so instead of first come first served many now have “batch recruitment” where they hire in batches.
So if you miss the first round, it’s ok you can still be hired.
But leaving it too late is not a good idea, so don’t leave your job applications until May/June time as you’ll find that most graduate programmes also known as graduate schemes have closed.
The only option left at this point is to apply to graduate jobs, also known as entry level jobs which tend to be available all year round.
– Secondly, have a plan and seek expert help.
We at Grad Careers encourage our students to view their job hunt with a similar commitment as your university studies.
Would you miss university seminars, lectures, and exams and still expect to get your degree? Of course not.
Would you be able to pass your exams if you didn’t get the right training material from your university tutors? No!
It’s exactly the same with your job strategy.
You can’t expect to do very little work, have no plan in place and no expert training and still expect to successfully secure a job.
Finding and securing jobs for international students in the UK is tough. There’s so much competition and you need to stand out. There are also many steps along the way.
A Typical Graduate Recruitment Process for a Graduate Scheme/Programme:
- Application Form
- Online tests
- Video interview
- Assessment centre
- In person interview
So, you need to understand exactly what each step involves, and how you can pass each one.
The questions you should be asking yourself are:
- What is the employer looking for?
- What can I do to practice in advance?
- How can I learn from my past rejections?
- How can I get expert feedback on my applications and my interview performance?
If you apply to the right companies, at the right time and receive training on successfully passing each stage of the job application process then you absolutely can get a graduate job with sponsorship.
In fact, we can guarantee that!
We at Grad Careers will help you every step of the way. From finding suitable Tier 2 jobs for you, to making sure you’re well prepared for the recruitment process.
To find out how we can help you, just fill out our form below and we’ll send you an email with an application form.
You can then book in a call with our team, and we can talk through our programmes with you and answer any questions you have.
(There’s no obligation to sign up, it’s just to see whether you’re right for the programme and we can go from there.)
And finally, the last question,
Question 5. “I’ve got less than 6 months left on my Tier 4 visa, can I still get a job in the UK?”
Yes, you can.
When thinking about jobs for international students in the UK, it’s important to note there are two options out there:
- Graduate Programmes also known as Graduate Schemes
- Graduate/entry level jobs.
To apply for graduate programmes it depends on the timing, so apply early but for example if your visa expires in January you can still apply for graduate programmes with an Autumn intake.
Alternatively, there are plenty of graduate jobs available which recruit all year round.
Some roles don’t have a fixed deadline and take on students on a rolling basis.
- With 6 months or less you do have to be even more strategic. You cannot afford to waste your time applying for jobs that do not come with the visa sponsorship that you need.
- Likewise, once you find a suitable job role with sponsorship then you cannot afford to waste your chance by sending a poor application, or not preparing enough for the interview.