We spoke to a range of employers at our Meet the Employers: Science and the Environment event to find out what skills and experiences they look for in a graduate and some top tips for getting a career in this sector.

Where can students look for jobs in your sector?

Manchester Climate Change Agency – “We like to see students with experience of volunteering or of undertaking a placement.  Students need to be able to demonstrate that they have been pro-active throughout their time at university. We mainly advertise our jobs on charity job websites so we’d definitely recommend you to sign up to receive job alerts.

Natural England – “We advertise our jobs on the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs pages. Any website that ends in ‘gov.co.uk’ is where we would most likely advertise our roles.”

RPS Water – “Online job boards are a really useful tool for finding graduate roles. We mainly advertise our own jobs on Indeed.”

AECOM – “We recommend that you contact consultancy firms directly to view our advertised roles. You can also perform a quick internet search for ‘Ecology jobs’ and look through the top pages. We also advertise on Indeed.”

LiCa Scientific Recruitment – “We advertise our roles on JOB Plus and Reed. Students can use Page Monitor, an app on Google Chrome, to search for our vacancies.”

What can students do now to prepare themselves for a career with your company and the wider sector?

Manchester Climate Change Agency – “The best advice that we can give students is to do as much volunteering as possible while you are at university.”

Natural England – “We like students who are work-ready. Make sure you fully research any placements you apply for and do as much volunteering as possible to develop and enhance your skills.”

RPS Water – “Students have to be pro-active. Make sure you keep your CV up-to-date with relevant information and keep a record of key skills you learn while you are at university. Equally, make sure you send your CV out to employers if you are looking for a placement.”

AECOM – “When you are writing their dissertation, try and target your research projects to something related to environmental science. When applying for jobs, employers will be able to see that you are passionate about the subject and which will most likely impress the employer. Volunteering is always an important addition on a CV.”

LiCa Scientific Recruitment – “Students should utilise their Careers and Employability Service, look at their CV and cover letter guides and use the drop in service. Ensure that you always tailor your cover letter to each role.”

Would you prefer students to have work experience that is relevant to the role that they are applying for?

Manchester Climate Change Agency – “We always advise students to gain specific experience in the area that they are most interested in to show an employer that they are passionate about a career in this sector.”

Natural England – “We definitely prefer students who have relevant experience. It’s also useful if your degree is linked to the job you are applying for.  Students employed by us will handle a variety of data projects so work experience in this area would be beneficial.”

RPS Water – “Relevant experience is preferred but definitely not essential.”

AECOM – “We don’t look at any specific criteria. Every candidate is different so we try to look at different factors such as: the job role and the person specification, if they have been on a placement or if they have had volunteering experience. It really depends on their experience and their ability to show enthusiasm.”

LiCa Scientific Recruitment – “For a majority of our roles, we definitely like to see a student who has a wide range of lab skills.”

Find out more about the employers below:

Manchester Climate Change Agency – Manchester Climate Change Agency works is working towards a zero carbon city by 2050 that is also adapted to weather changes.

Natural England – We’re the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide.

RPS Water – RPS is a worldwide environmental consultancy with over 5000 staff. RPS Water is UK based and specialises in the collection and processing of data in the water sector, primarily for the water companies.

AECOM – The AECOM Ecology team in UK&I comprises more than 100 professional ecologists with experience in ecological survey, evaluation, impact assessment, design and construction management in terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.

LiCa Scientific Recruitment – LiCa Scientific is a specialist recruitment agency for scientists. We operate across the UK, staffing scientific roles with the focus of our work being in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

How your Careers and Employability Service can help you to prepare?