Job search

Smart Futures


EY -  Careers - Students
  • Share

Choose what’s right for you

We’ve been speaking to school leavers just like you about the complicated choices you face. Should you go to university? Will not having a degree hold you back? Or will you progress as quickly, and go just as far if you go straight into work from school?

The answers are different for everybody. You need to make the right choice for you.

We can help you make the right decision — we’ve learnt a lot from our trainees and followed their amazing progress through our organisation.

These are big decisions, so make sure you’re informed about the options open to you, and explore the programmes EY has to offer you here and on the EY Career Guide.

Find out more about the ways in which our people work with our clients to build a better working world.


EY is one of the biggest and most exciting professional services firms in the world. But what does “professional services” actually mean, and what do we really do?

Our people use their business skills, knowledge and experience to advise our clients on how they can make better decisions on how their businesses are run. We work with small business owners, huge multinational organisations, exciting start-ups — even governments.

We have a purpose too, a big idea that we all believe in and work towards: everything we do is geared towards building a better working world. The school leavers that join us have a bold vision for their future. We do too. Vision 2020 is our ambition to become the most distinctive professional services organization.

Later in your career you could work pretty much anywhere in the world, but you’ll start your career in one of our UK offices.

EY is divided into four different areas, we call these our service lines. Each of them helps clients with different questions and issues. Because business issues are often interconnected, EY people in different services lines share their skills and knowledge with each other.

EY - Advisory

Advisory: Advising organisations all over the world to help them solve their complex problems, manage risk, and transform and improve to gain an edge on the competition.

EY - Assurance

Assurance: Our Assurance team check that figures are correct and that a client’s accounting is done properly, which is crucial for maintaining confidence in international markets.

EY - Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance: Helping the world’s businesses to buy, sell and merge to get the best long-term return for their money.

EY - Tax

Tax: Guiding clients all over the world so that they pay the right tax in the right place and at the right time – balancing what’s good for the community and the company.


At EY, we will help you find the type of career you want – your way.

No matter where you are in the decision-making process, EY has an opportunity for you. It’s all about making the right choice for you and your future. Find out more and apply.

How do I find out a bit more about EY and my choices without making a big commitment?

EY Choices evening

You’ll be amazed what you can learn in such a short space of time. The EY Choices open evenings show school leavers what life’s like at a leading global business like ours, so you can decide whether EY is the right place for you to start your career. We’ll help you to understand how you can make better decisions about your future career, explain the different options available at EY and you’ll get to meet some of our current trainees and senior people. Wherever you go next, it’s a great way to begin your journey.

Find out more

Discover EY – A career in business (Year 11)

Discover EY is a one-day experience that will explain the sector of professional services and its place in the world of business. At EY, we understand that taking the first step towards deciding which career you’d like to pursue, and how you’re going to get there, can be quite daunting. That’s why we’re excited to launch our new one-day insight programme for school students in Year 11, which will help you to find out more about EY and the career choices we offer.

Find out more

What if I’m interested in apprenticeships and want to get a feel for what they’re like?

Discover EY - Alternatives to University (Year 12)

Designed for students in Year 12 who are focused on a career in business and exploring alternatives to university such as the EY Business Apprenticeship, Discover EY is a one-day experience that will challenge you through an innovative series of interactive workshops.

Learning how a business like ours operates, you’ll delve deeper into Assurance and Tax — gaining an understanding of how these two service lines work and the impact they have at the highest level of global business.

Find out more

Can I get some real work experience and get paid for it?

EY Business Academy

If you’re in Year 12 and already considering an alternative to university this programme will help you build the skills needed for a head start on the EY Business Apprenticeship.

The EY Business Academy is a paid one week programme, balancing on-the-job experience with business skills sessions. You’ll be a valued of part of a team of world-class professionals, helping to make a difference to our clients and their businesses. The EY Business Academy is a great way to work out whether the EY Business Apprenticeship is right for you.

Find out more

EY Foundation Smart Futures

Smart Futures offers you an opportunity to have a great paid experience of work. It is a ten-month programme starting with paid work experience.

Find out more

What if I want to start working at EY straight from school?

EY Business Apprenticeship

If you’re ready to start your career in the workplace and keen to avoid student debt then apply to join the EY Business Apprenticeship.

Our new training programme lets you join EY straight after school or college — just as some of our directors and partners did. You’ll go straight into a full-time job with a starting salary of up to £21,500, giving you independence and responsibility — without going to university first. When you qualify, you’ll have the same professional qualification you’d normally study for after university, and you’ll earn this sooner than a graduate, with the same career options to look forward to. You’ll be given challenging work on a diverse range of projects and clients, developing a host of transferable skills, and receive on-the job coaching to support you and ensure that you reach your potential. And with opportunities across the UK you’ll receive the same world-class training and experience no matter which UK office you join.

The training for qualification takes up to five years, developing the skills and experience needed to complete the work and study towards a chartered qualification in the service line that you have applied to.

Find out more

What if I want to go to university first?

EY Scholarship

Benefit from paid work placements, study towards a professional qualification and enjoy £15,000 in scholarship payments during your degree. The EY Scholarship gives you the best of both worlds — and it’s the perfect way to get your career off to a strong start if you’ve decided that university is the right choice for you.

Find out more

To be eligible for the EY Business Apprenticeship you should be studying towards and expect to attain, three A-Levels / five Scottish Highers or equivalent.

Applications will close on Thursday 29 June 2017.

What we look for

At EY we’re much more interested in the kind of person you are and the things you're naturally good at. That’s why we select school leavers on their strengths and future potential, not just past performance. We want you to be yourself, show us what you've got and how far you want to take your career.

Assessing Strengths

Strengths are the things we are good at and energise us. Using your strengths can enable you to perform at your best and have a fulfilling professional life. By assessing your individual strengths, we can assess your future potential to succeed at EY.

Find out more about strengths based recruitment at EY, and why it’s an important part of our assessment process in this video.


Application Process

There are five stages to applying for a vacancy. Read below for more information on each stage so that you are clear on what to expect.

1. Choose a programme

Choose the programme that’s right for you and start your online application hereRemember, we’re looking for the kind of person you are and what you’re good at, not just your academic achievements.

2. Strengths

You’ll complete three strengths assessments via our strengths portal. If you’re successful, you’ll then complete two cognitive assessments. This will give us a better understanding of who you are, what you’re good at, whether you’re right for EY and whether we’re right for you!

3. Telephone interview

You’ll have a 20 to 25-minute telephone interview about your motivation to join us and your chosen business area. We’ll use the conversation to get a better idea of your best qualities, so try to relax and be yourself.

4. Assessment Centre

During the fourth stage, you’ll take part in various activities designed to give you a better feel for EY, such as a team meeting and written reporting. If you successfully complete the assessment centre stage, you’ll be invited back for a final interview.

5. Job offer

If you accept the job offer we make you, you’ll begin an exceptional graduate career. From start to finish, we’ll do our best to take you through the process in eight weeks or less.

Reasonable Adjustments & Disability

At EY we are committed to bringing together the right candidates to create the high performing teams that provide our clients with the exceptional service they expect. Our people advise some of the world’s most important organisations on the most complex business matters, which is why our people are vital to businesses, industries and economies everywhere. We welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds and experiences, creating a rich and diverse culture here at EY – a culture that can help you learn, develop and shape your career.

There is a dedicated area on our application form if you need to let us know about any adjustments to the recruitment process that you will require. Anyone who completes this section will be contacted by our student recruitment team either by phone or email depending on your preference Any conversations we have with you about your disability and/or long term health condition and any adjustments you may need, will be treated with confidentiality.

If you have a disability/long term health condition and wish to discuss your application with us, please contact us on 0800 289 208 or email us at and we will work with you to ensure that your questions are addressed.

For further information we also recommend that you also visit -

Technical Support

If you need technical support at any point across the selection process, and you can't find the information you are looking for on our website, you can contact us at or on 0800 289 208.

Apply now

For today’s school leavers making a decision about what to do next can be a difficult process – especially if the decision means not going to university, and entering the world of work straight away. Virtually all of our trainees have told us that before they decided to apply to the EY School Leaver programme that they sat down and discussed this with their parents or carers. If you are a parent helping your son or daughter to make this decision then we thought you might find it useful to read about the experiences of the parents of some of our current trainees.

Katie – Flo’s Mum

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
    • Did you go to university?

      I completed my university education at the age of 43, having done it on a part-time basis alongside fulltime work.

      I have a degree in Post Compulsory Education and Training & full teaching status in Further Education.
    • Straight to work?

      I was encouraged to take the traditional A-level and then to college route.
  • What do you do currently?

    I am a qualified lecturer in Early Years.
  • When you first heard about the programme were you aware of EY and what they do?

    I had heard of EY and knew they were an accountancy firm, however, I did not know that they supported school leavers until Flo told us about it.
  • How did you first hear about the programme?

    Through Flo and the school she attended at the time, St Marys.
  • What did you think of the programme?

    The programme itself I felt was a good career route, however, I had expected Flo to take the traditional route of University as that was what originally informed her A- level choices after her GCSE’S.

    I think it is also fair to say that if she had continued at her previous school this route would not have been open to her as she would have been seen as an obvious University candidate. Having worked a lot on Apprenticeships myself in further education I can see the benefits of this particular type of career path however, during Flo’s time at school I would not have considered this a route she would take.

    I also would consider that the majority of young people who come from independent/ private education will take the University route as parents may have certain expectations when they have invested financially in their child’s education. When we were choosing schools for Flo something we considered was which school would be the best for her to achieve her goal of being an accountant, which included getting into the best University.
  • How would you compare it to going to university?

    Personally I feel a University education would have given Flo a broader base of skills and experiences and opportunity for her to change her mind around her subject if she desired.

    However, as a work based school leaver she is developing a set of skills relevant to employment which will increase her employability prospects later on.
  • Did you have any concerns about Flo applying? What were they? And why?

    I would say that my main concern would be that Flo was sacrificing a University education for work based qualification. This in itself is fine if she wishes to stay an accountant, but if she decides to use her skills towards another route would she have the necessary education to do this?
  • How have you found the programme now that Flo has started?

    Even as Flo’s mother I can no longer make decisions on her behalf and therefore if she feels she has made the right decision then I am happy that she has done so. It certainly has given her unique opportunities such as featuring in the new EY Schools campaign and her hard work seems to be recognised with her recent promotion.  
  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why?

    If this was a route that a young person wanted to take then I would definitely recommend it as an alternative to University, especially for those who may not cope with the demands of University life and who want a more practical option.

Eddie – Flo’s Dad

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
    • I left High School - aged 16 - half way through the Autumn term of the Scottish equivalent of Lower 6th.  I left to join the Army as an Apprentice, I went through a 2 year programme of further education and soldiering.  I took the decision - with my parents support - as I could see that my high school education would not have taken me far enough academically in my remaining time in full time education. 
    • I now head the EMEA Project Management department in one of the world’s largest Telco’s.  The transition from the Army to - what was then - an Internet Service Provider was not a natural progression but, due to the ever evolving state of the Internet and Telecommunications work being very varied it was suitable for someone with an eagerness to learn and develop.  In 30 years I have only had 2 jobs.
  • How did you first hear about the programme?

    It was Flo who brought the programme to our attention.  She was adamant that she wasn't going to spend a number of years in university racking up a student debt.  She wanted to look for an opportunity to move straight into business.  Flo had been looking at the apprentice programme at a competitor of EY who were running an active school leavers recruitment programme in the Cambridge area.  Given that initial exposure to business recruitment and the self-confidence she developed while going through the process she very quickly discovered more about the EY school leaver programme.
  • What did you think of the programme? What informed this?

    What we know about the programme has been brought to us by Flo. She was very good at marketing the opportunity to us; to her own benefit.  She is a very open and honest girl and we can see through her how much EY value feedback from their trainees about the programme itself and where improvements have been made.
  • What did you and Flo discuss when she was deciding which path to take towards her future career / education?

    I think that Katie (Flo’s Mum) will answer this question better as the two of them had very conflicting views as to what the best post-school route was for Flo.
  • How have you found the programme now that Flo has started?

    I think that we would all admit that the programme is not as Flo first thought that it would be. Our initial thoughts were that she would be office based and we would both continue to car share.  The EY Cambridge office is only a 5 minute walk from my office.  However, she could count the number of days she has been office based in the past 14 months on her fingers and toes. There is a lot of travelling to and working from client sites – those applying should be aware of this.
  • Have you notice any changes to Flo?

    When she first moved to her 6th Form School in Cambridge in September 2011 she transformed within a 2 week period from being a young school girl to a very self-assured young lady.

    Likewise, we noticed a very similar transformation with her within EY as she travelled across East Anglia and to North Wales. Her reliance on others to make decisions for her were gone, she wanted to be in control of her own diary and actions. There have been many times where her weekly calendar has been chopped and changed and she takes each change in her stride, deals with the situation and moves on.

    She is a keen advocate of the EY School Leaver programme.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and gives her total commitment.
  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why?

    Yes, I would. I would advise them allow their son/daughter to lead the job searching.  The commitment that Flo showed to prove to us - especially her mother - that this programme was a better option than university proved how much she wanted to join EY.  Any resistance that her mother showed - playing the devil's advocate - helped to spur Flo on to prove to us both that she knew what she wanted to do with her career.

Jeanine - Charlotte’s Mum

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
    • Did you go to university? 
    • Straight to work? 
      Yes – in my first job I worked as a book keeper
    • What do you do currently? 
      I work as the Senior Plant Administration and Liaison Officer for, a family run Royal Warranted laundry company.
  • When you first heard about the programme were you aware of EY and what they do? 

    I knew about EY and roughly what they do, just not the depths.
  • How did you first hear about the programme? 

    Through Charlotte.
  • What did you think of the programme? What informed this?

    This was something that excited Charlotte very much – she had researched this thoroughly and so I supported her choice 100%.
  • How would you compare it to going to university? 

    Charlotte had always made it clear that she did not want to go to University so I didn’t push her on this.
  • What did you and Charlotte discuss when she was deciding which path to take towards her future career / education?

    Charlotte discussed everything with us regarding tests during the application process, what EY was offering and this was something that she has always wanted to do. Charlotte is a very bright young lady and has always enjoyed challenges. She was very thorough in everything she researched, broke it all down to me. At the end of the day I wanted her to do something that she was passionate about as this could effectively be her career for her working life. She had to be sure that this was what she wanted. It was – very much so.
  • Did you have any concerns about Charlotte applying? What were they? And why? 

    Absolutely none – she had the drive and commitment to see through what she had to do. I am there for her moral support 100%.
  • How have you found the programme now that Charlotte has started? 

    The work is very demanding, but she thrives on it. There have been times when I have questioned her workload as she has come home shattered. However, she has assured me that she has excellent back-up with her buddy and councillor along with the Executives within her building. She wants to succeed, wants to be the very best and go as high as she can and knows she has to work harder than hard to get there. I firmly believe she will.
  • Have you notice any changes to Charlotte? 

    Charlotte has always been a very articulate and ‘’grown-up’’ person. Her confidence and her presence make you notice her – not in a harsh way. She is very approachable, bubbly and friendly but also very professional. I’m very proud of her.
  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why? 

    I would recommend this highly as it gives young adults the full on experience of day-to-day business – the very best way I believe to learn – on the job. I believe it is easier to ‘’do’’ something and understand it rather than read. Anyone can read it, perhaps understand it to some extent but by actually performing the task – that shows you are able. This is very well supported by those in the offices.

Your development at EY

We’re building success through people who are curious and eager to learn. We provide the support, experience and opportunities for you to build the career you want, and offer you the opportunity to take accountability for your development.

Professional qualifications

On joining our Business Apprenticeship programme, you’ll have the opportunity to study for an industry-recognised certification – a professional qualification that allows you to hone your skills and expertise as you develop throughout the programme.

Your professional qualification will depend on which area you join as a Business Apprentice, and will take up to five years to complete, but once you qualify, you’ll have the same professional qualification you’d normally study for after university, and you’ll earn this sooner than you would have as a graduate, with the same career options to look forward to.

To find out more about the qualifications our programmes offers, please select the career path you're interested in.

High impact training

Whilst you never stop learning by working in teams on client projects, our wide range of formal, web-based and ad-hoc programmes also develop your interpersonal, commercial, technical and professional capabilities. You’ll build your general business skills, and constantly refresh and enhance your technical skills across our service lines.

We have world-class programmes to accelerate your career.

For those with leadership potential, there’s the Accelerated Leadership Programme, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute.

For potential partners, there’s Global NextGen — a tailored, modular programme.

Women and those from ethnic minorities with high-potential can access the career growth opportunities they deserve, with Career Watch, and the Black and Ethnic Minority Leadership Programme.

And there’s the Business Adviser Programme, where you lend your expertise to young business leaders and social entrepreneurs.

These are all proven drivers of success. On top of this, we offer more than 16,000 different courses, and last year our people undertook more than eight million hours of training.

Learning and development at EY

We’ll give you the tools, support and know-how to develop in the direction that most interests you, but you’ll be in charge of how much you achieve. You won’t be defined by the area or service line you work in, nor will you only work on one kind of assignment. Instead, you’ll have an incredibly varied experience, getting to know people from all sorts of backgrounds and exploring different facets of our business.

Moving within EY

Mobility across geographical boundaries and service lines is all part of our commitment to creating seamless, high-performing teams, and we offer short or long-term cross-border and cross-service line placements that give exciting, challenging experiences.

Your development

Our reputation is founded on recruiting, managing and retaining the very best people, and, in a competitive, changing market, we also have to ensure they continue to gain the insights and connections that foster their professional and personal growth.

The development opportunities and support we provide will help you achieve your goals. EYU (EY and you), our career development framework, , is one of the most comprehensive training programmes of any organisation, and 80% of our people tell us their job is good for their personal development.

In return for your input and ideas, we’ll give you the experiences you need to progress and develop, and coaching to help you to excel. You’ll work with great people and will be exposed to a range of alternative perspectives, building lifelong relationships and networks.