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UK 300: top public sector employers

…as voted for by students and graduates

The UK 300 features the most comprehensive annual survey of student opinion on graduate careers, employers and their own job hunts; more than 71,000 students and graduates took part. The survey determines not only the most popular 300 graduate employers in the UK overall, but also the most popular graduate employers in a range of career sectors, including in the public sector.

The top graduate employers from the public sector are listed in the table below. It's fair to say that the list shows the diversity of the organisations in the public sector: from the three intelligence services, to national government, to local government, to healthcare, to teaching. As the BBC is a new entrant to the list – and notably takes the top spot – most organisations have fallen in the rankings. The NHS, however, climbed three spaces, from ninth to sixth.

Students interested in employers in this sector…

  • are, unsurprisingly, likely to be driven by a desire to do public good: 76% of survey respondents interested in the public sector cited the primary influence on their career choice as a passion for the sector (compared to 63% on average) and 55% thought the ‘chance to make a difference’ ‘very important’ when choosing an employer (compared to 52% on average)
  • are less likely than average to have undertaken an internship by the time of their final year (31% of finalists had, versus 39% on average), but more likely to have volunteered (57% had, versus a 50% average)
  • are the most likely of final-year students across all sectors to have a undertaken part-time work (74% of finalists had, the highest percentage to do so).

NB: Percentages have been rounded.

Rank
2020/21
Employer Rank
2019/20
Diff
1 BBC - New
2 MI6 - Secret Intelligence Service 1 down
3 MI5 - The Security Service 2 down
4 Civil Service Fast Steam 3 down
5 GCHQ 4 down
6 NHS Leadership Academy 9 up
7 Teach First 6 down
8 British Council 5 down
9 Local Government - National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) 8 down
10 European Commission 7 down
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