In-demand jobs and sectors in the UK for international graduates

in-demand jobs
For many international graduates in the UK, filling in the gaps of jobs with skill shortages in the country may be a ticket for them to a bright future. Source: Ben Stansall/AFP

Post-study work options are attractive for many international students looking to work in a new culture, gain new skills and see the world from a new perspective. Similarly, securing an in-demand job in the UK can pave the way for international graduates to continue living and working in the region.

While gaining employment as an international graduate can be challenging, it is not impossible. The trick to securing employment in the UK as an international graduate is to enrol in degrees or specialise in areas where a labour shortage is prevalent.

The reinstatement of Tier 1 (Post Study Work) visa — now known as the Graduate Route visa — has given international students the chance to stay in the UK for at least two years after successfully completing a course in the UK. 

While graduates cannot extend their Graduate visa, they may be able to apply to change or switch to a different visa, such as the Skilled Worker visa. It’s worth noting that students cannot apply to switch to this visa if they’re currently in the UK on a short-term student visa.

For some international graduates, finding a job in the UK could be the ticket to a better life, and gaining employment in the UK over an extended period could lead to them being granted residency status in the UK.

For those looking to build themselves a career in the UK, here are five sectors with in-demand jobs, based on data from the UK Home Office.

5 in-demand jobs in the UK


There is a massive staffing crisis in the UK as the NHS struggles with talent retention among healthcare professionals in the UK following Brexit. Source: Stefan Rousseau/AFP

There are plenty of healthcare-related career opportunities in the UK.

The National Health Services (NHS) notes that they are the biggest employer in Europe and the world’s largest employer of highly skilled professionals. They have over one million people across the health service in England devoting their working lives to caring for others.

Some of the in-demand jobs within the health services and public health sector include:

  • Health services and public health managers and directors
  • Medical radiographers
  • Nurses
  • Paramedics
  • Senior care workers
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists

It’s worth noting that the UK also offers a Health and Care Worker visa, which allows medical professionals to come to or stay in the UK to do an eligible job with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.


The engineering industry in the UK is facing a massive shortfall in filling in the skills, knowledge and experience gap in engineering-related roles. Source: Ben Stansall/AFP.

A report by not-for-profit organisation EngineeringUK — “Engineering UK: The State of Engineering 2019” — forecasts an annual demand for 124,000 engineers and technicians with core engineering skills across the economy, alongside an additional requirement for 79,000 “related” roles requiring a mixed application of engineering knowledge and skill alongside other skill sets.

They add that a shortfall of between 37,000 and 59,000 in meeting the annual demand for core engineering roles requiring level 3+ skills.

Among the in-demand engineering roles highlighted by the Home Office include:

  • Civil engineers
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Electrical engineers
  • Electronics engineers
  • Design and development engineers
  • Production and process engineers

Social and humanities scientists

archaeology students

International graduates who have obtained an archaeology-related qualification are in luck as archaeology-related vacancies are some of the most in-demand jobs in the UK. Source: Roberta Basile/AFP

Those with an interest in the scientific study of prehistoric people and analysing artefacts, inscriptions and monuments will be heartened to note that archaeologists are in high-demand in the UK.

This spells good news for international graduates who studied archaeology as there is a growing need by employers in the country to fill in the skills, knowledge and experience gap in the profession.


International graduates who specialised in IT during their university years may look into jobs in cyber security, information architecture or big data analytics in the UK. Source: Isabel Infantes/AFP

Currently, the UK is facing a massive staffing crisis in the IT field, with businesses struggling to find talent with expertise in cyber security, big data analytics and technical architecture.

Harvey Nash Group CEO Bev White notes that despite businesses planning record levels of digital investment, the acute skills shortages in IT may cause ambitions of organisations aiming to push their digital transformations into effect to fall short.

“They lack the supply of skilled resources they need; they have not yet evolved a new and effective employee proposition for the hybrid working world; and the skills they need are themselves changing as technology develops at pace,” she said.

This opens up a wealth of opportunities for international graduates to look for IT-related jobs in the UK. Some of the in-demand IT-related careers include:

  • IT business analysts, architects and systems designers
  • Programmers and software development professionals 
  • Web design and development professionals
  • Information technology and communications professionals 


Contemporary ballet dancers are among the in-demand jobs in the UK. Source: Niklas Halle’n/AFP

There are career opportunities in the UK for those with an artistic or creative flair. Among the in-demand jobs in the UK include:

  • Dancers and choreographers
  • Musicians
  • Arts officers, producers and directors

To find employment as a dancer and choreographer in the UK, the Home Office notes that they are looking for “skilled classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies”.

Skilled orchestral musicians “who are leaders, principals, sub-principals or numbered string positions, and who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK orchestras” are in-demand.

In the UK, there is a growing need for dancers and choreographers such as classical ballet dancers or skilled contemporary dancers. However,  the coveted spots for these roles are only open to skilled dancers who meet the standard required by internationally recognised UK ballet or contemporary dance companies.

If you’re an international graduate of one of UK’s higher education institutions looking to gain employment in the country upon graduation, you may refer the Shortage Occupation List to explore possible career routes in the UK.