Employers may take on more graduates this year, but you need work experience

Wed, 03/07/2013 - 13:12 -- nick

Employers intend to provide more jobs to graduates this year than in 2013.

A report from High Fliers Research into the hiring patterns of large employers says that they are looking to take on 2.7% more graduates this year than last.

These estimates may need a health warning though; in 2012 the same employers believed they were likely to employ 6.4% more university leavers than in the year before, following big jumps in 2010 and 2011.

But this optimism turned out to be misplaced, and the number actually fell by 0.8%.

Continuing problems in the financial services sector were partly to blame, with accounting and investment banking seeing big dives in new jobs.

This year's rise is being driven by the public sector - despite the austerity cuts - retail and engineering companies.

The graduate job market still has a long way to go before it reaches its peak however, with 10% fewer opportunities available this year than in 2007.

Those who want to chase the money should head for investment banking, which offers starting salaries averaging £45,000, closely followed by law firms at £38,000.

The median starting salary is £29,000, unchanged for a fourth year in a row as more graduates come on to the market chasing fewer jobs.

Public sector pay caps have reduced the graduate salaries on offer in this sector to the lowest of any at £22,000.

The value of work experience is being shown again, with a third of new graduate jobs to be filled by those who have already undertaken a placement for the company recruiting.

This is particularly true for investment banking, where three-quarters will go to former placees, and law, which will see half of all jobs taken by those already known to the employer.

Recruiters are warning that those with no work history at all are unlikely to be given job offers, with more than half saying they would not even consider candidates in this position.

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