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Career opportunities

An Open University qualification is attractive to employers.

Employers know that many of our students study while working. Therefore, they’re aware that Open University study can be challenging, and that it requires you to develop a variety of valuable skills and qualities – all of which will be assets to any workplace.

You’ll also be attractive to employers because, being an Open University graduate, you’ll stand out from the crowd of conventional campus-based university graduates.

As one recruiter of our graduates comments:

They have got that unique skill set or background that perhaps our standard graduates don't have. They have thought about their career and how they're going to fit that in with the rest of their life as well. That's a very potent blend and already gives them a competitive advantage.

The UK Graduate Recruitment Co-ordinator, CGI

Our students and graduates can testify to the respect that employers have for Open University graduates, too:

 

From a careers advice perspective, employers have always said to me that they will always interview an OU graduate because anyone who can achieve an OU qualification is a certain kind of person.

OU student

The Open University is a highly respected institution and, generally, prospective [barristers’] Chambers see the independence, tenacity, commitment and determination that it takes to qualify through distance learning as highly positive assets. The majority of OU students are either in other careers, or parents (or both). What you are doing is amazing compared to your average student. Be proud of your achievement!

Jane Heybroek, Barrister and OU graduate

So keen are many employers on Open University studies that hey sponsor their own employees to take modules with us. To date, over 30,000 companies have done so, including British Airways, Ford Motor Company, Halifax plc, IBM, the UK Ministry of Defence, Motorola, Pfizer and Unilever.

Throughout your studies, and to prepare you for life beyond graduation, you’ll benefit from The Open University Careers Advisory Service

Once you’re a registered student with us, the advisory service is on hand to help you.  The resources available to you will include:

  • Individual careers advice: You can contact a careers adviser by e-mail, telephone or Skype when you wish to discuss your career.
  • Practical help: The service will help with everything from planning, developing or changing your career, through to preparing for interview success.
  • Online Employer Showcase: Here, you’ll learn more about the employers that are particularly keen to recruit Open University graduates, such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and GlaxoSmithKline.
  • JobZone: This is our online vacancy service with a focus on UK vacancies.
  • Ongoing assistance: Through online careers forums and seminars.

As an Open University student and for up to three years after, you can request information, advice and guidance to support your career planning. Resources are focused on the UK and Ireland, but help is available with general job search skills and strategies. Learn about career prospects.
 

Four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored their employees to take Open University courses.

We advise you to research your career choices thoroughly and as early as possible, particularly in relation to experience requirements, differences that relate to where you live, or where choice of courses may affect future opportunities. If you intend to develop your career outside the UK, it’s important to clarify whether your chosen study pathway will meet national and professional entry requirements in the country where you wish to work. See recognition in my country.

Learn more about career opportunities

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