How much does degree area matter when hiring for entry-level roles?

Talent Trends

This time, with graduation in full swing, we decided to take a look into how fresh graduates' degree areas correlate to the type of role they would like to work in after leaving university.

We've narrowed this down to the 4 most popular job functions. Get ready for some serious pie charts.

Interest in sales by degree area

Interest in software engineering by degree area

Interest in marketing by degree area

Interest in operations by degree area

The results

The results emphasise that candidates from a mix of backgrounds apply to jobs across the board.

Humanities graduates dominate in all areas apart from software engineering, a job area which requires a specific skill set that candidates generally pick up at university.

Overall, humanities graduates seem to be open to a wider variety of roles, having acquired broadly transferrable skill sets from their degrees. In contrast, maths and engineering graduates find themselves equipped with very specific skills transferrable to more technical jobs, in which humanities graduates might struggle to excel without additional training.

So what?

Although degree area affects where candidates want to work somewhat, we can see that it’s not a strict indicator. It's common for candidates to be interested in areas unrelated to their degree.

So, it’s important not to focus on degree area too much when hiring – particularly for an entry-level role. Employers should also be on the lookout for transferrable skills, potential, and past experience showing interest in their sector.

With this in mind, we thought we’d share our Top 3 Hiring Tips of the month:

  • Look beyond the CV. When sifting through resumes, be receptive to a candidate's adaptable skill sets, potential, and drive – in addition to their education and experience.
  • Don't dawdle. The best candidates don't hang around. Get in touch with candidates you like as soon as possible, ideally within 48 hours of their applications.
  • Don’t make offers on a Friday. Fridays are renowned for being the worst day to offer your role to a candidate! From experience, we'd recommend holding out until a Monday or Tuesday.

We've put together more hiring tips in our most recent blog post.

What's got us talking this week?

🎬 Why you should hire for skills, not talent | TED When filling a job, you should look not only at whether a candidate knows how to do something but also at whether they can learn how to do it. In her talk, HR consultant Suzanne Lucas makes the case for a shift in how we evaluate applicants.

🎧 In Good Company #19: Liv Little | Women Who

Host Otegha Uwagba speaks with Liv Little, founder of gal-dem, a media platform run by women and non-binary people of colour, about the business side of building a viable digital media platform. They discuss everything from the intricacies of raising money from investors to the microaggressions that originally prompted Liv to start gal-dem.

📚 How Did Protein Bars Become So Popular? | Topic Magazine

Madeline Leung Coleman traces the rise of the $3 billion US energy bar market from the early 1990s to its current ubiquity in a society obsessed with wellness and working through lunch. A topical read, given the optimistic UK energy bar market forecasts for the coming years.

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Post written by Sophie Hudson and Isabel Morris from TalentPool