2014 sees most Graduate Jobs for 7 years

A survey has revealed that graduating from Britain’s prestigious universities does not guarantee you the dream graduate job. High Fliers independent researchers for The UK Graduate Careers Survey and The Graduate […]


A survey has revealed that graduating from Britain’s prestigious universities does not guarantee you the dream graduate job. High Fliers independent researchers for The UK Graduate Careers Survey and The Graduate Market in 2014 found that leading employers, more often than not, look beyond Oxbridge for the brightest graduates. 

The research from December 2013 found that the top public and private employers targeted more people from the Universities of Nottingham or Manchester (both 24th and 25th in the Times Good University Guide 2013) than from Oxbridge. Some of Britain’s biggest employers including Google, British Airways, John Lewis, and the police and the civil services were included in the survey which brought great news for students at similar universities as they are seen to be delivering the global graduates that employers are looking for.

The findings are believed to be attributed to the investment in the student experience, the focus on the best possible support for students as they prepare for the challenging job market, the commitments of academic staff and the professional services provided at these universities.

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Graduate employers in 11 out of 13 key industries and business sectors are now planning to hire more new recruits this year than in 2013. In 2014, the country’s 100 top graduate employers indicates to High Fliers that they will recruit 8.7% more graduates than last year – in total, around 1,400 extra people. That will take the number of graduate vacancies back to where it was in 2007, the year before the recession. Overall, the 100 employers covered by the survey plan to employ 18,264 graduates this year compared with 16,895 in 2013.

Much of the growth in entry-level graduate jobs has come in the public sector, particularly Teach First, which will have 1,550 vacancies this autumn, and in accounting and professional services firms, such as PwC (1,200 vacancies) and Deloitte (1,000 vacancies), according to High Fliers. Universities Minister David Willetts told the Telegraph:

The substantial rise in the number of graduate vacancies demonstrates that confidence in the UK economy is growing and businesses really value the skills the UK’s first-rate graduates can bring to their companies. A degree is still one of the best routes to a good job and a rewarding career.

After much scrutiny of the ‘upaid internship’, these employers will also offer a record number of paid work experience places this year – about 12,000. Internships are increasingly a stepping stone to full-time jobs with those companies, the study published on 13th January reveals. More than a third (37%) of the posts advertised this year will be filled by those who have already done an internship at the company, the report says, showing how worthwhile it is to undertake an internship whilst at university. It is worth noting that about half of recruiters said graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to get jobs.

However, despite the improved outlook for the ‘class of 2014’, graduate salaries have stagnated. At these employers, the average wage was £29,000 a year, the same for the past five years. The most generous offers come from investment banks (median of £45,000), law firms (median of £39,000), banking and finance firms (median of £33,000) and oil and energy companies (median of £32,500). The highest published graduate starting salaries for 2014 are at the European Commission (£41,500) and the supermarket Aldi (£41,000).

If you’re looking for a graduate job, how have you found the process? Got any tips for other readers? Let us know in the comments!