Up to 270 students are competing for every graduate job amid a desperate scramble for the most sought-after positions, according to research, the Telegraph has reported.
The number of applications has soared by 15% compared with two years ago when the recession struck, it was disclosed.
Competition is being fuelled by record numbers of students leaving university this year combined with a substantial backlog of graduates left without decent jobs in the economic downturn.
According to figures, 270 students are competing for every graduate job in the consumer goods industry this year.
Researchers said marketing posts in companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Mars and L’Oreal were among the “most sought-after destinations” for students desperate to climb the career ladder.
More than 100 students have applied for every job in the media this year and around 75 applications have been made to finance and investment banking positions.
Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, which carried out the survey, said there was little evidence of a public backlash against the banking industry.
Graduates starting jobs in the City were also much more likely to receive a bumper starting salary, it was disclosed, with basic pay rising by 10% to £42,000.