PricewaterhouseCoopers leads HSBC and the BBC as top choice for graduate work placements

PricewaterhouseCoopers remains the most sought-after place for UK graduates to start their careers, according to business students.

The professional services firm topped the wish list for graduate placements, narrowly beating bank HSBC into second place, with the BBC in third.

The Universum Graduate Survey 2006, which questioned more than 7,500 students in their final two years of study, found that the BBC was the number one choice for engineering, science, IT and humanities students.

The research also uncovered a clear difference between the pay expectations of male students who want an average starting salary of £23,900 per year, and female students who expect £21,330 per year.

The number one benefit that students said they wanted from employers was paid overtime (46% of respondents). A majority (52%) also said being able to “balance personal life and career” was the top career goal.

“The choice of ‘balance personal life and career’ as the prime career goal confirms the fact that current graduates don’t want their work to overshadow their private life, hobbies and interests.” said Heledd Poole, country manager UK at Universum.

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