Employers will have to pay
new graduates higher starting salaries than ever before to attract the top
performers according to new research.
The annual UK Graduate Careers
Survey reveals that average expected starting salaries are up 6.5 per cent on 2000
levels, with students expecting to earn an average of £20,800 for their first
job and the top 20 per cent of graduate job hunters anticipating initial
packages of at least £25,000.
Over half of finalists surveyed
also expect employers to give a golden hello or cash lump sum of up to £3,000
when they first start work.
Survey director Martin Birchall
commented, "Graduates leaving university this summer are the most
ambitious and demanding of their generation. Despite making fewer job
applications or deferring their job search until after completing their
studies, most are confident of getting their first choice job and expect record
salary packages when they begin work."
"This has made the
2000-2001 recruitment round one of the toughest for years."
One in six of the students
surveyed say they want to work in consulting, marketing and the media while
only 2 per cent would choose actuarial work, logistics and property.
London was the most popular
location for 38 per cent of graduates and is the first choice for students at
24 out of 30 universities included in the survey.
The least sought after
locations are Northern Ireland, Wales, East Anglia, Ireland and the North East.
Students are applying to fewer
graduate employers, making an average of just five or six applications each,
less than half the average number of applications made by finalists five years
The UK Graduate Careers Survey
2001 was conducted by specialist student and graduate market research company
High Fliers Research Ltd and was based on face-to-face interviews with 14,115
final year students from 30 universities.