The Graduate Career Guidebook

2nd Edition

by Steve Rook

Chapter 5: Choosing a role

Examples of traditional, new, modern and niche roles

The table below gives examples of traditional, new, modern and niche roles, as defined in The Graduate Career Guidebook.




Solicitors, doctors, secondary school teachers, lecturers


Marketing and sales positions, management accountants, welfare advice workers, therapists


Managers, software engineers, primary school teachers, journalists


Agricultural consultants, detective constables, recruitment consultants, retail managers, hotel managers, graphic designers

Useful websites

Graduate trends

Popular career options

Professional organisations are usually good sources of information on jobs, internships and career planning; you can find a full list of professional associations on Wikipedia (scroll down to External links to view lists of professional bodies in the UK, Australia and Canada).

Further links are provided below. More resources can be found at Prospects and The National Careers Service.

The armed forces, security and emergency services

  • Police officers (see College of Policing)
  • Immigration officers (see the UK Border Agency’s website:
  • Customs officers, excise officers and tax inspectors (see the website of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs HMRC:
  • Officers in the armed services – Graduates are recruited through a series of interviews and practical and written tests. (Find out more on the careers websites of each of the arms of the armed services: Army; Navy; RAF.)
  • Intelligence analysts with the Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ) – Gathering electronic and digital data and protecting the Government’s communication and information systems (see
  • Intelligence officers – MI5 (see
  • Operational officers – the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) (see
  • Prison officers (see

Other roles in this sector include scenes of crime officers, forensic computer analysts, trading standards officers, environmental health officers and health and safety inspectors.

Education and training

Find out more about careers in teaching at The Training and Development Agency for Schools website ( Other useful websites include: the university recruitment website; Cactus TEFL,, which has opportunities for teaching English as a foreign language; the Teach First website,, with information about combining a short teaching assignment with a long term corporate career; and the Times Education Supplement’s website,

Financial services, insurance and pensions

The larger recruiters in this sector usually recruit new graduates through two year training programmes. You can find out more at

Public administration and politics

Some roles such as the Civil Service Fast Stream and public health management posts have structured graduate trainee schemes, but to get into political roles you will need extensive work-experience.

Advertising, marketing and public relations

One good place to start your research is through the relevant professional organisations such as:

Further information and vacancies can be found at:

The media

Look for jobs and information using the following resources:

Health care

Links to the specific role in the sector and all aspects of careers in the sector can be found at NHS Careers.

Other useful websites include:


A number of websites outline your options in this sector. The following links are particularly useful.


The following magazines and jobsites will help you understand the range of roles on offer: