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Job Specific Skills & How to Get Them

Carve out and cultivate your own career path


recent study has revealed how UK industries are attracting the hottest graduate talent in the country and what key skills they’re looking for to find the very best people for the roles they have to offer.

One thing is clear, companies are willing to pay the right price to secure the best talent, with business leaders offering top salaries for those who have the desired skills. And it’s not just in the traditional areas like London. High volumes of certain types of business – industry hotspots – are seeing graduates able to earn impressive salaries across the North East, Yorkshire and the Midlands.

This research, conducted by leading sales recruitment agency Pareto Law, highlighted where these industry hotspots are across the country. The North East tops the charts for salaries thanks to a high concentration of manufacturing roles. It means graduates in the region can earn an average of more than £26,000. The message is clear – find the right industry and obtain the right skills and graduates could see themselves earning an impressive salary.

When it comes to recruiting graduates, there are a number of all-encompassing skills that are valued across every industry. Employers are generally on the lookout for passion, drive, strong communication skills, team-working abilities and a relevant degree.

However, to find the very best graduate talent, employers are also looking for skills that are specifically beneficial to their own industry, showing what graduates need to do to make themselves a potential hire in one of the most competitive markets around.  

What industry-specific skills might you need?

If you’re looking to enter the world of manufacturing, the North East is your best bet, thanks to the high volume of firms operating in this industry there. Competition for top talent means companies are having to offer more attractive packages, which has seen graduates earn an average of £26,313. To secure these graduate roles, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’re organised, good at solving problems and able to think quickly.

The North West shines when it comes to IT jobs, offering an average salary of £24,707. Candidates applying for roles in this part of the country will need analytical skills, problem-solving abilities and impeccable attention to detail to land the top jobs.

For creatives, the best place to make a start in your career is in the south of England, where an average salary of £25,166 can be obtained. To make a strong play for the best roles in this industry, you’ll need to highlight creativity, proactivity and social media awareness.

For healthcare roles, the East of England is the top pick, with an average graduate salary of £25,016. The industry-specific skills required in this sector include motivation, commitment, the ability to work under pressure and exceptional industry knowledge.

Finally, those wanting to break into education may want to start their search in the East Midlands or Yorkshire and the Humber, where average salaries are £22,337 and £25,305, respectively. Valued skills in this line of work include creativity and experience working with children or young people.

How to acquire these sought-after skills

Now you know which skills are prized in your chosen industry, you can focus on sharpening up these proficiencies before you apply. There are a number of ways to be proactive, including:

  • Training courses: With an abundance of training courses available both in person and online, you can find everything from broad overviews to specific topics. Sign up for some relevant sessions to help broaden your skillset.
  • Mentoring sessions: Find a mentoring programme to learn from industry experts. This partnership will give you an opportunity to ask questions and gain an insight into the everyday experience of your industry.
  • Online learning: If you’re juggling work, studies and other commitments, you may find it easier to learn in your own time. Online learning offers you the chance to complete relevant courses wherever and whenever is convenient for you.
  • Work experience: Many industries will look for experience in a relevant working environment. Even if it’s only a week or two of unpaid work, it’s a hugely beneficial addition to your CV.

Ultimately, it’s important to have a balance of transferable skills and ones which are specific to your industry. Obtaining new skills which are most relevant to the industry you want to work in is the key to ensuring you can find the best graduate jobs around.

About the Author

Sophie Austin, Site Manager for moved to Sweden in 2017 from London, England, where she spent 3 years working in the education sector.

Sophie has a First Class Bachelor’s Degree from King’s College London and is currently studying for her Masters in Creative Writing at Stockholm University. A qualified writer, alongside her work Sophie has written two books and is a contributing writer for the 2019 UK L&D Report.


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Last updated: 09 Jul 2019

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