Press Release: Four out of five 2013 graduates have work experience

News Release Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Bournemouth heads the top ten work experience universities

New research shows that nearly four in every five graduates looking to begin their career have work experience. The analysis by graduate-, the largest independent graduate jobs board in the UK, shows that of 20,331 students graduating in 2013, just 21.1 per cent have no work experience on their CV as they begin their search for a career.

Undertaking work experience is no longer an opt-in facet of the job application process - graduates need to take advantage of opportunities to gain real world experience of working life. The one in five graduates lacking work experience on their CV should take note. Excelling academically is important, but employers are wary of taking on new recruits who are untested in the workplace. In such a competitive job environment it's crucial for graduates to stand out to recruiters by being able to demonstrate a work ethic and career aptitude when they apply for a job. Our research shows that a majority of graduates are proactively responding to this shift in employers' mindset by gaining valuable experience of the workplace, prior to their career search.

However, it's no longer enough for graduates to simply have work experience on their CV and expect to stand out from the crowd. It's vital to demonstrate that the experience is relevant to the job sectors graduates wish to work in. Employers in the financial services industry won't necessarily be impressed by someone with work experience in catering. With employers looking for the 'best fit' candidate, it's crucial that graduates seek work experience which best fits their intended career sectors.

Rank University % of 2013 graduates with work experience
1stBournemouth University89.94 %
2ndUniversity of Surrey87.93 %
3rdAston University87.85 %
4thLondon Metropolitan University85.96 %
5thLoughborough University85.42 %
6thUniversity of Westminster85.28 %
7thSheffield Hallam University83.77 %
8thUniversity of Hertfordshire82.97 %
9thNottingham Trent University82.75 %
10thUniversity of Leeds81.69 %

The research shows that Bournemouth University tops the list of academic institutions by proportion of graduates having work experience - nearly nine out of ten Bournemouth students graduating this year stating on their CV that they have spent time in a workplace. Bournemouth University offers a range of sandwich courses, but has also, since 2012, offered every undergraduate Honours student the opportunity to take a professional placement - typically 40 weeks in length - as well as access to hundreds of part time, vacation, placement and graduate opportunities.

Bournemouth University graduates often have a comparatively substantial spell in the workplace, practical and relevant experience of their chosen career, enriched CVs, and an understanding of the importance of both teamwork and interpersonal skills. Those Bournemouth students that have taken advantage of the work placements available to them have also shown initiative, ambition and drive in finding and being chosen for such employment experiences. Their future employers benefit by filling entry-level positions with graduates who have an understanding of the graduate's chosen industry.

With so many highly qualified graduates looking for graduate traineeships, recruiters are increasingly looking for ways to differentiate between job applicants. They use to specifically search for candidates that have undertaken a work placement - such as an internship or job shadowing. These filtering functions enable employers to pick not just academically qualified graduates, but those who have shown commitment to building their employability and workplace skills. As well as students still at university, 275,000 graduates are active on, providing recruiters with cost-effective access to a massive number of high quality graduates.

In addition to enabling graduates to browse graduate jobs and graduate schemes, is also a resource for career-minded university students. The site helps graduates to identify their key skills, enrich their CVs, hone their interview technique and get advice from fellow graduates during their job hunt via an online forum.

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Notes to editors:

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In June 2013, analysed the data of 20,331 of its subscribers who graduate in 2013. The data was analysed to show what percentage of the total number of registered graduates had completed work experience. Subscribers were then grouped according to which institution they attended for their degree. The data was then analysed to show what percentage of graduates from each institution had completed work experience.

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About is a specialist graduate job board. According to High Fliers Research (2007) is the biggest independent graduate job board in the UK. It enables small and large organisations in the UK to post graduate job advertisements and search CVs in a quick and cost effective way. The company also operates,, and