35 Finance Graduate Schemes - University Tutors

Finance graduate schemes offer recentfinance graduates the opportunity to gain practical experience and furthertheir professional qualifications. With a wide array of companies offeringthese schemes across various industries, graduates can choose from a wide rangeof options.

Companies such as Network Rail, NHS,Skys, Zurich, British Airways, and many more provide rotations in differentdepartments, on-the-job learning, and support for professional qualificationslike CIMA, ACCA, or ACA.

The application process typicallyincludes online forms, video interviews, and final interviews. Startingsalaries, entry requirements, and locations vary across different schemes, withsome offering competitive salaries, welcome bonuses, and mentorship towardsbecoming chartered accountants.

To increase their chances of success,applicants are advised to tailor their applications, conduct comprehensiveresearch, and demonstrate enthusiasm for the field.

This article provides an overview of the35 finance graduate schemes that are available, highlighting their benefits,entry requirements, application processes, salary and compensation packages,support and mentorship opportunities, locations, and mobility options.

Key Takeaways

Finance graduate schemes offer recent finance graduates theopportunity to gain practical experience and further their professionalqualifications. With a wide array of companies offering these schemes acrossvarious industries, graduates can choose from a selection of options.

Companiessuch as Network Rail, NHS, Skys, Zurich, British Airways, and many more providerotations in different departments, on-the-job learning, and support forprofessional qualifications like CIMA, ACCA, or ACA.

Theapplication process typically includes online forms, video interviews, andfinal interviews. Starting salaries, entry requirements, and locations varyacross different schemes, with some offering competitive salaries, welcomebonuses, and mentorship towards becoming chartered accountants.

Toincrease their chances of success, applicants are advised to tailor theirapplications, conduct comprehensive research, and demonstrate enthusiasm forthe field.

Thisarticle provides an overview of the 35 finance graduate schemes that areavailable, highlighting their benefits, entry requirements, applicationprocesses, salary and compensation packages, support and mentorshipopportunities, locations, and mobility options.

Finance Scheme Options

There are a variety of finance graduate schemes available, such asNetwork Rail's financial planning and management accounting activities, the NHSFinance Management Graduate scheme's corporate finance and accountingexperience, and Sky's finance graduate scheme which allows for on-the-joblearning while studying for a CIMA qualification.

These schemes offer a range of options for individuals interested inpursuing a career in finance. The finance scheme selection process involvesconsidering the specific areas of finance that each scheme focuses on, such asfinancial planning, management accounting, corporate finance, or accounting.

It is also important to assess the career prospects that each schemeoffers, such as the opportunity for professional development, exposure todifferent areas of finance, and the potential for progression within thecompany.

By carefully considering these factors, individuals can choose afinance graduate scheme that aligns with their career goals and aspirations.

Benefits of GraduateSchemes

One advantage of taking part in graduate schemes is the opportunity toacquire practical experience and knowledge in different aspects of finance.This experience can lead to advantageous career prospects and provide a solidbase for future success.

Benefits of graduate schemes include:


            Participantshave the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills, such as financialanalysis, reporting, forecasting, and budgeting.

            They alsogain experience in areas such as corporate finance, accounting, and financialplanning.


            Graduateschemes often offer rotations in distinct departments, allowing participants toexplore different areas of finance and identify their interests.

            Theseschemes can create a pathway to becoming a chartered accountant or obtainingprofessional qualifications such as ACA, ACCA, or CIMA.

In conclusion, taking part in a finance graduate scheme can giveindividuals the practical skills and knowledge required for a successful careerin finance, as well as open the door to numerous career opportunities.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for most finance graduate schemes, candidates musttypically fulfil certain prerequisites set by the companies offering theprograms. These requirements often include an academic qualification such as aminimum 2:1 classification, although some companies may accept a 2:2.

Additionally, some schemes may require certain degree disciplines,such as finance, accounting, or a related field. Apart from academicqualifications, companies may also consider other factors, such as pertinentwork experience, extracurricular activities, and a keen interest in the financeindustry.

It is important for candidates to carefully read the entryrequirements for each scheme they are interested in and make sure they meet thenecessary criteria before applying. Meeting these requirements will increasetheir chances of being accepted for a finance graduate scheme.

Application Process

The application process for finance graduate schemes usuallyinvolves multiple steps, including online forms, video interviews, and finalinterviews. These schemes tend to have a competitive application process due tothe high number of applicants.

To improve your chances of success, it is important to prepare foreach step of the process. This can involve researching the company and thespecific scheme you are applying for, tailoring your application to highlightpertinent skills and experiences, and rehearsing for the interview stages.

Some schemes may also include assessment centres, where candidatesare evaluated through various activities such as group tasks and presentations.It is important to be well-prepared for these assessment centres to demonstrateyour capabilities and appropriateness for the role.

In summary, thorough interview preparation and performing well inassessment centres are essential for a successful application to financegraduate schemes.

Salary and Compensation

Salary and compensation packages for finance graduate schemes differbetween companies, taking into account factors such as the industry, location,and proficiency required for the role. Here are some essential points to thinkabout:

            Payprogression: Many finance graduate schemes offer an ordered pay progression,allowing graduates to advance in salary as they gain more experience andqualifications.

            Bonusstructure: Some companies offer extra financial incentives through bonusstructures, which can be based on performance, company aims, or personalaccomplishments.

            StartingSalary: The starting salary for finance graduate schemes can range from around£26,000 to £31,000 per annum, depending on the company and location.

            Benefits:In addition to salary, finance graduate schemes often include benefits such aspension plans, healthcare, and flexible working arrangements.

            Welcomebonuses: Some companies may offer welcome bonuses to attract top talent,providing an extra financial boost at the outset of the scheme.

Company-Specific Schemes

Moving on from the discussion on salary and compensation, it isimportant to explore the specific company schemes within the realm of financegraduate programs. These schemes are tailored to provide graduates with jobroles that are specific to each company, offering unique opportunities andresponsibilities.

For instance, Babcock's accountancy and finance program offers rolesin management accounting and business tax consulting, while TUI's financegraduate scheme exposes candidates to commercial finance, airline finance, andfinancial reporting. Similarly, the finance team at Arcadia involves decision-making across the business, with opportunities to progress to the position ofFinance Director.

These company-specific schemes provide graduates with the chance togain hands-on experience and develop expertise in their chosen field offinance, while also supporting them in obtaining relevant professionalqualifications such as CIMA or ACCA.

Rotations and Experience

Rotations and gaining practical experience are fundamental elementsof these company-specific finance graduate programmes. These programmes offercandidates the chance to rotate between different departments or roles withinthe organisation. This allows graduates to cultivate a varied skill set andgain a comprehensive understanding of various facets of finance.

Advantages of rotational programmes include:

            Exposureto different aspects of finance: Rotations offer graduates exposure todifferent aspects such as financial planning, management accounting, corporatefinance, and financial analysis. This widens their knowledge and comprehensionof finance as a whole.

            Skilldevelopment: Rotations enable graduates to develop a broad array of skills,including financial analysis, reporting, forecasting, and budgeting. Thisvaried skill set makes them highly adaptable and valuable in the financeindustry.

            Networkingopportunities: Rotations allow graduates to work with professionals fromdifferent departments and construct a solid network within the organisation.This network can be advantageous for future career prospects and professionalgrowth.

In general, rotations and practical experience offered in thesefinance graduate programmes contribute to the development of well-roundedfinance professionals with a diverse skill sets and a profound understanding ofvarious finance functions.


One important aspect of finance graduate programmes is the chancefor candidates to gain professional qualifications. Gaining a professionalqualification such as ACA, ACCA, or CIMA can bring many advantages to graduatesin their finance careers.

These qualifications are highly esteemed in the industry and canaugment their knowledge, skills, and reliability. Graduates who achieve thesequalifications are usually seen as more capable and competent, which can openup increased career opportunities and amplify their earning potential.

Furthermore, professional qualifications provide a structuredpathway for career progression, enabling graduates to specialise in particularareas of finance and progress into higher roles. In the long run, pursuingprofessional qualifications through finance graduate programmes can be greatlybeneficial for candidates in their career development.

Support and Mentorship

Support and mentorship are essential components provided withinfinance graduate programmes, as they support candidates in their professionaldevelopment and give guidance throughout their journey. These programmesrecognise the importance of providing assistance and advice to help graduatescomprehend the intricacies of the finance industry and improve their careerprogression.

Here are four main ways in which finance graduate schemes offersupport and mentorship:

            Assignedmentors: Graduates are usually paired with experienced professionals who serveas mentors, providing direction, advice, and sharing their expertise andknowledge.

            Trainingand development opportunities: Finance graduate schemes offer extensivetraining programmes and development opportunities to strengthen graduates'technical skills and knowledge in areas such as financial analysis, accounting,and financial planning.

            Networkingevents: These schemes often arrange networking events, allowing graduates tolink up with industry professionals, construct relationships, and broaden theirprofessional network.

            Performancereviews and feedback: Regular performance reviews and constructive feedback aregiven to graduates, allowing them to identify their strengths and areas forimprovement, and helping them to progress and succeed in their careers.

In conclusion, the support and mentorship provided within financegraduate schemes have a significant role in helping candidates build theirskills, gain assurance, and attain their career aspirations in the financeindustry.

Locations and Mobility

Locations and mobility within finance graduate programmes can vary,offering graduates the opportunity to work in different regions or eveninternationally. This flexibility allows individuals to gain diverseexperiences and develop a global mindset. Some schemes provide internationalplacements, giving graduates the chance to work in different countries andunderstand different business cultures. Additionally, some companies havemultiple office locations, allowing graduates to choose where they would liketo be based. This flexibility in location can be particularly beneficial forindividuals who prefer a certain city or region, or for those who have personalcommitments that require them to be in a specific location. Furthermore, somefinance graduate schemes offer flexible working arrangements, including remoteworking or flexible hours. This allows individuals to maintain a work-lifebalance and adapt their working arrangements to their personal needs. Prosinclude the opportunity to work in different regions or internationally,exposure to different business cultures, flexibility in choosing officelocations, and the ability to maintain a work-life balance through flexibleworking arrangements. However, there is the potential need to relocate, and alack of stability in location.

Tips for Applying

When considering locations and mobility in finance graduate schemes,it is important to take into account the potential benefits and tips forapplying. Different schemes may offer opportunities in various locations,allowing graduates to gain exposure to different business environments andpotentially broaden their network.

Benefits of graduate schemes include:

            Practicalexperience: Graduates can gain hands-on experience in finance roles withinrespected companies.

            Professionaldevelopment: Many schemes provide support and funding for professionalqualifications such as CIMA, ACCA, or ACA.

            Networkingopportunities: Graduates have the chance to build relationships withprofessionals in the industry.

            Competitivesalaries: Some schemes offer competitive starting salaries and additionalbenefits.

            Mentorship:Many schemes provide mentorship programmes to guide graduates towards becomingchartered accountants.

Company-specific schemes may have unique features, such as rotationsin different departments, exposure to specific industry challenges, or tailoredsupport for specific qualifications. It is important to research each schemethoroughly and tailor applications accordingly.

By taking into account the benefits of graduate schemes andunderstanding the specific features of company-specific schemes, aspiringfinance professionals can make informed decisions and increase their chances ofsuccess in the application process.

Comparison of Schemes

A comparison of the various finance graduate schemes revealsdisparities in the features, qualifications, and industry exposure offered bydifferent companies. The programme structure of these schemes varies, with someoffering rotations in different departments to gain experience in finance,while others focus on specific areas such as financial planning or accounting.Moreover, the career progression opportunities contrast across schemes, withsome offering support to complete professional accounting qualifications suchas CIMA, ACCA, or ACA, and others providing opportunities to progress to more seniorroles such as Finance Director. It is crucial for potential applicants toconsider these factors and align them with their career goals and interestswhen selecting a finance graduate scheme.


Programme Structure

Career Progression

Network Rail

Financial planning and management accounting activities

Opportunities for professional accounting qualifications

NHS Finance Management

Corporate finance, accounting, and financial analysis experience

Progress to more senior roles


On-the-job learning while studying for CIMA qualification

Support to complete CIMA qualification


Hands-on experience while studying for ACA, ACCA, or CIMA exams

Progress to more senior roles

Frequently AskedQuestions

What is theselection process for the finance graduate schemes?

Theselection process for finance graduate schemes typically involves onlineapplication forms, video interviews, and final interviews. Candidates may needto demonstrate their knowledge of finance, accounting, and relevant skills, aswell as their enthusiasm for the role. Candidates will likely need to showtheir understanding of finance, accounting, and any specialised skills that arerelevant to the role, as well as their passion for the position.

Are there anyspecific eligibility criteria for the finance graduate schemes?

Eligibilityrequirements for finance graduate schemes vary across different programs.Candidates may need to meet specific academic criteria, such as a minimumdegree classification, and demonstrate relevant skills and knowledge. Theapplication process typically involves online forms, video interviews, andfinal interviews.

How long do thefinance graduate schemes typically last?

Financegraduate schemes typically last between two to five years, depending on theprogram. These schemes provide various benefits such as practical experience,professional qualifications (e.g. CIMA, ACCA), competitive starting salaries,and mentorship towards becoming chartered accountants.

What are thecareer progression opportunities after completing the finance graduate schemes?

Careerprogression opportunities after completing finance graduate schemes includeroles such as financial analyst, management accountant, finance manager, andfinance director. Graduates can also pursue professional qualifications likeACA, ACCA, or CIMA to further enhance job prospects and career growth.Specialised qualifications can provide an edge in the competitive job marketand provide the opportunity to take on higher positions with increasedresponsibility.

Are there anyadditional benefits or perks offered as part of the finance graduate schemes?

Financegraduate schemes often offer additional benefits and perks to attract andretain top talent. These may include employee discounts, such as discountedtravel or shopping, as well as professional development opportunities likementorship programmes and support for professional qualifications.

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