HR · 15 April 2016

New businesses now the most desired destinations for university graduates

Startups are the favoured destinations for 53 per cent of recent university graduates

For the first time ever in the UK, more than half of all recent university graduates want to work for a startup rather than join any other industry.

Identifying startups as a stand-alone sector of the UK economy, a survey conducted by graduate recruitment company TalentPool found that technology and the media, consulting, and marketing also ranked highly as some of the most popular industries graduates were keen to start a career in. Yet, 53 per cent of respondent university leavers said that joining a startup would be their first choice.

Commenting on the findings, TalentPool co-founder Tom Davenport told Business Advice: “The UK’s smallest businesses still have a number of structural disadvantages, particularly with respect to payment delays and buying power. But one major barrier to growth – attracting the best people – is being steadily dismantled.”

The survey looked at the job and sector preferences of over 1,000 UK graduates in February and March 2016. More than half of respondent the law profession entirely.

Davenport went on to say: “We’ve been observing the rising popularity of startups amongst graduates for a long time now – but crossing the 50 per cent mark is a very significant moment, perhaps a tipping point, and great news for UK SMEs.

“It means they are now in a position to genuinely compete with the major brands for the best talent. We expect this to inject energy and huge potential into smaller businesses, particularly in the young and high growth segments.”

Young people could help close the UK’s technical skills gap, but small firms are struggling to train existing young workers. Read on to find out more.

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.


If you’ve found the article above useful, but have a more detailed and bespoke question, then please feel free to submit a query to our expert. We at Business Advice will get in contact with them on your behalf and arrange for a personalised response. These questions and answers will then be collated on the site for any other readers who have similar queries.

Ask a question