Sheffield's universities enjoy a well-earned reputation of high quality and highly adaptable graduates who are known to thrive in the work place. With this in mind, graduates from the city are highly valued by employers, as long as they can show they're right for the job. But we wanted to know how studying and living in Sheffield made you stand out from the rest of country. We wanted to know what made Sheffield's graduates different in terms of their career ambitions, academic achievement and workplace readiness.
To do this, we analysed all the data of graduates from Sheffield universities when they registered with us. Between the years of 2009 and 2014 we were able to draw comparisons between Sheffield and the rest of the UK and found glaringly obvious reasons that employers are so keen on employing graduates from the Steel City and why they were so special.
The universities that are based in Sheffield specialise in a range of different fields and this can be seen in the choices made by the graduates of those institutions. The top five choices made by graduate from Sheffield nearly exactly mirror those made by graduates from the UK as a whole. Graduates from Sheffield can be seen to be interested in typically popular sectors like Management, Marketing and Banking. While sectors like Advertising and Public Relations are slightly more popular in Sheffield than in the country as a whole, with 24.2% of graduates from Sheffield expressing in interest in working that sector and just 22.3% of the UK's overall graduates wanting to work in Advertising and PR.
The only exception from making Sheffield mirror the top five most popular sectors across the country is the inclusion of Human Resources, which was selected by 21.4% of the graduates from the South Yorkshire city. However, this sector is still popular amongst graduates across the UK, after being selected by nearly as many (21.2%) of graduates from across the UK.
From looking at the data submitted by graduates from the two Sheffield universities, it can be seen that the universities prize themselves on maintaining tough academic rigour. This is explained by the low amount of First Class degrees that were awarded to graduates between 2009 and 2014. Sheffield awarded the third lowest at just 7.8% of graduates receiving First Class degrees, behind Nottingham (7.8%) and Northern Ireland (7.6%), and a lot fewer than the national average of 9.8%.
However, what can be seen is the higher rate of 2.1 degrees being awarded to studious graduates, for which it awarded the second highest amount 57.7%, behind Nottingham again (59.7%).
It is looking at the data for levels of work experience amongst graduates from Sheffield that it becomes clear why graduates who studied in South Yorkshire are so valued. Graduates from Sheffield have the second highest rate of work experience compared to any other area we looked at. Just behind Northern Ireland, 18.7% of graduates from Sheffield had completed some form of work experience. Often considered a key factor in determining a graduate's employability, this high level of work experience is a positive factor in terms of finding a graduate job after university.