Overview of the UK Graduate Market in 2011

The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2011 was conducted by High Fliers Research, an independent research company that specialises in student and graduate research.  The survey was based on face-to-face interviews with 17,851 final year students from thirty leading universities, completed in March.  This sample includes more than a fifth of the finalists due to graduate from these universities this summer.

The research confirms that many students graduating in the ‘Class of 2011’ began their job search much earlier than usual and that finalists have made a third more job applications to graduate employers than last year – taking application levels to an all-time high.

The survey also shows that for the first time in three years new graduates expect to earn higher starting salaries when they begin work and that investment banking is the most popular destination for this year’s university-leavers.

Key findings-

    • UK’s leading employers are expecting to increase their graduate recruitment by 9.4% in 2011. Vacancies dropped by 17.8% in 2009 and 6.7% in 2008.


    • Leading accountancy & professional services firms are intending to hire almost 10% more graduates than in 2010. City’s top investment banks up 12.2% compared to 2010 and the high street banks up 24.8%.


    • Recruitment targets at several public sector employers have already been reduced and further cuts are expected later on the year.


    • Recruiters have confirmed that a third of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations (i.e. industrial placements, vacation work or sponsorships, etc)



    • Starting salaries at UK’s leading graduate employers in 2011 are expected to remain unchanged from 2010 levels – a median of £29,000. Salaries increased by 7.4% in 2010 and 5.9% in 2009.


    • Majority of employers have been actively marketing their 2011 graduate vacancies at between 10 and 20 universities in the UK.


    • Three-fifths of employers are providing industrial placements for undergraduates or vacation work lasting more than three weeks.


    • Nearly two-third of recruiters warn that graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their graduate programmes.


A full overview of the Graduate Market 2011 report can be found here. (courtesy – Liverpool John Moores University)

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