Whether you're interested in a specific IT role or would like to get a more rounded experience in all things digital, there are technology graduate schemes to fit with your aspirations and preferred career path

According to High Fliers' The Graduate Market in 2023 report, which questioned leading employers featuring in The Times Top 100, recruitment targets for tech companies were up 40% in 2022 as they sought to recover from the pandemic.

In 2023, there were over 3,000 graduate vacancies in this field as employers sought to take on new talent for their structured training programmes. Discover what you can expect in 2024.

What technology graduate schemes are available?

Most major UK companies that run graduate schemes have streams available that focus on IT and technology within their organisation.

As technology plays a key role in all organisations, you'll find options across all sectors in the following areas:

These schemes are typically structured training programmes for new and recent graduates, usually lasting between one and two years.

A number of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also take on graduates as they seek to fill skills gaps and build the workforce of the future.

Consider the range of IT graduate jobs to get a feel for what tech careers would suit you. For those with qualifications other than a degree, you can also read about IT apprenticeships.

Which companies run tech graduate schemes?

In the IT industry, the following organisations run specialist tech graduate schemes:

  • Accenture - offers a number of streams, including positions in analytics, consulting, digital engineering and manufacturing, modern engineering, strategy and tech transformation.
  • Capgemini - choose from a range of business/consulting, technology consulting and technical roles. So, whether you're looking to use your technical degree background as a software developer or technical analyst, or are simply enthusiastic about tech as a business analyst or client account manager, there's sure to be a match.
  • Cisco - by joining the networking, cloud and cyber security specialists on their IT scheme, you'll be involved with the company's software, hardware or security functions.
  • FDM Group - the technical graduate programme allows you to train with cross-functional teams before getting to specialise in an area such as business intelligence, cloud computing engineering, data engineering, robotic process automation, Salesforce developer, software development, software testing or technical operations.
  • Fujitsu - the programme is designed to develop future leaders, with the streams available including consulting, cyber consulting, project management, software development and testing.

There are also IT graduate programmes in other sectors, including environment, finance, public services, retail, and transport:

  • British Airways (BA) - if you're hoping to work in data analytics, the airline has streams in both data science and commercial and network analytics.
  • EY - by joining the tech consulting scheme you'll get to support other businesses along their digital transformation journey. You could be working in data analytics, finance modelling, quantitative advisory services (QAS), or risk.
  • HSBC - the bank's digital innovation graduate programme gives you the opportunity to work with the latest technologies such as cloud, cyber, data and AI.
  • MI5 - on the technology graduate development programme (TGDP) you'll get to choose your preferred stream from options that include data science and machine learning, information and cyber security, security engineering, software engineering, and user experience design.
  • Morrisons - they offer a technology scheme for those looking to gain an understanding of how technology is used within a retail business.
  • Ordnance Survey (OS) - become a technical expert, consultant and leader by choosing a technical programme in data science and analytics, computer science, or data visualisation.
  • PwC - within their consulting business there's a need to provide advisory services to clients in a number of areas, including cyber security, data and analytics, and forensic technology.
  • Tesco - there are four related programmes in cyber security, software engineering, technology product as well as the general technology scheme.

What will I do on a technology graduate programme?

For more general technology graduate schemes, especially those with a focus on developing leaders, the programme will typically involve spending time in different departments, so you can better understand the wide-ranging needs of the tech industry.

However, as technical skills are essential for most roles in this field, it's more likely you'll get to choose a specialist area that you'd look to excel in. For example, the two-year FDM cloud computer engineering graduate programme provides you with responsibility for all cloud-related technological tasks, from creating environments to diagnosing and fixing issues with existing systems. Your training will involve developing skills in a range of software, languages and platforms including Ansible, AWS, Azure, GCP, Python and Terraform.

HSBC's two-year digital innovation graduate programme allows you to work with a particular technology, such as cloud, cyber, data or AI. While working on these Agile projects, you'll get to build and test the technology and run simulations.

What are the entry requirements?

While some employers will expect a 2:1, many are looking for those with a 2:2, although for tech programmes this typically needs to be in an IT or STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) subject.

Recruiters may also specify a certain number of UCAS points or grades at GCSE/A-level - for instance, to get onto BA's data science scheme you'll require a grade B in A-level maths (or equivalent), in addition to a 2:2 degree in a numerical/data science/computer science/applied statistics degree.

When should I apply?

The High Fliers research revealed that applications for tech schemes were up 13% in 2022/23, so competition for places on these schemes can be fierce.

Most schemes start accepting applications for the following year in September or October and close by the end of the year, although the dates do vary between employers.

For instance, the Capgemini recruitment season runs from September to August, while applicants for BA's tech programmes open in October but close two to four months later, depending on the scheme. The OS scheme stops accepting applications at the end of November.

Again, while the majority of schemes will have a September start date, this isn't always the case. For example, the HSBC scheme has a starting date in July.

Visit graduate schemes to get an overview of the standard application process.

What skills will I need?

Here are some examples of the skills employers are most interested in:

  • Cisco - they expect graduate recruits to have the ability to explain complex technical concepts to stakeholders in a simple and effective way, possess a high level of attention to detail as well as strong instincts for problem solving, be a self-motivated learner that can get to grips with new technology, as well as having excellent teamworking skills.
  • EY - to work in tech consulting you'll need an analytics mindset to dig deep and find the best solutions, project management and design skills to help transform businesses, the ability to build relationships and grow your network, financial acumen to predict outcomes and solve problems, and the hunger to achieve technical certifications and better understand the impact of risk on a business.
  • HSBC - the bank is looking for innovative and logical thinkers, creative problem-solvers with a passion for technology, and those with a strong analytical mind. They're seeking collaborators who can speak up and build relationships with people on large-scale projects.

Get an overview of what it's like to work in the UK's IT industry.

How much will I be paid?

Here's what a selection of recruiters are offering to tech graduates in 2024:

  • Accenture - £27,500 plus a £5,000 bonus (most locations) for its tech transformation programme (in London, the salary is £33,500 plus a £10,000 bonus).
  • BA - £35,200 for its data science scheme.
  • MI5 - £37,396 (London) or £35,283 (Greater Manchester) for its technology graduate development programme.
  • OS - £26,000.
  • Tesco - £37,000 for its technology-related programmes.

Find out more

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