The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has surveyed over 200 blue chip companies, and found that the average starting salary for graduates is likely to rise to £26,000 this year – a 4% increase on 2011. However, a 1.2% drop in the number of graduate vacancies is also predicted.
The salary increase represents the biggest rise since pre-recession levels – the average graduate starting salary has stayed fixed at £25,000 since 2009.
In 2010-11, investment banks offered the highest starting salaries, averaging £38,250. This year, however, a 41.7% reduction in the number of graduate vacancies is expected in this sector.
As data was only gathered from blue chip companies – the likes of Accenture, M&S and UBS – the AGR report isn’t an accurate reflection of the overall situation for graduates. Data collected by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) indicates that full-time salaries for new graduates are between £17,720 and £23,335.
Some employers are set to buck the trend of falling recruitment rates; companies in the IT and telecommunications sectors anticipate the biggest increase in the number of graduate vacancies this year, with the figure expected to increase by 32.5%. Similar increases are also predicted in the construction sector, the public sector, and amongst consultancy firms.
Although cost-cutting and restructuring is resulting in redundancies in many areas, industry leaders maintain that graduates are still regarded as an important source of fresh talent.
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