Graduate pay climbs,
but vacancies fall

Graduates from UK universities are enjoying higher salaries but face fewer job vacancies, according to the latest figures. The average starting salary for degree holders is now 18,021 a year, a rise of 3% over the 12 months to last September, says the Careers Services Unit (CSU).

Regional vacancies

  • Scotland: +14%
  • Wales: +16.4%
  • North West: +9.3%
  • South East -25%
  • London: -27.5%
  • E Midlands: -32%

The highest paid jobs were in management consultancy where pay started at an average 20,033 information technology (19,121) and human resources (18,413). Although graduate job vacancies were down overall there were marked regional differences. The East Midlands experienced a 32% drop compared to a rise of 14% in Scotland. University leavers north of the border were also in the best area for salaries, with CSU finding it had the highest regional average starting salary of 19,461.

But the economic slowdown was reflected in some of the figures, with vacancies in finance, IT and retail all falling.

It was even worse for those hoping for a job in the media, publishing or the performing arts with the advertising slump cutting vacancies across the sector by almost 55%. CSU chief executive Mike Hill said: Unemployment among graduates remains at its lowest level ever, and most students are guaranteed a job on graduation. Clearly this unemployment figure will increase in the short term and graduates with relevant work experience who can demonstrate initiative and, of course, achieve good grades, will have the edge when it comes to job applications.