The Graduate Market in 2011

I received a magazine this week from ‘High Fliers Research.’ It’s basically an annual review of graduate vacancies at Britain’s leading employers.
It’s seriously interesting reading! I thought it might be useful to share some of the key findings.

The report is based on a study of graduate recruitment at the organisations named as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2010. The research was conducted in December 2010 and examines the recruitment period for 2010-2011.

I’ve followed their lead and split the points up into more manageable sections. I hope you find it interesting!


•    Leading employers are planning to increase their graduate recruitment by 9.4% in 2011.
•    Three fifths of employers expect to recruit more graduates in 2011.
•    The largest recruiters of graduates in 2011 will be PwC (1200 vacancies) Deloitte (1000 vacancies) KPMG (900 vacancies) Teach First (780 vacancies) and Ernst & Young (740 vacancies)

•    However a third of entry level vacancies ACROSS the board are expected to be filled by graduates that have already worked for that organisation.
•    The top 3 places to find graduate vacancies for 2011 are (in order) London, the North West and the Midlands.
•    The worst hit sector of the recession remains the chemical & pharmaceutical industries. They are now down to nearly half the graduate vacancies they had pre 2007.


•    The average starting salary for a graduate position remains unchanged from 2010, at £29,000.
•    The most generous starting salaries are with investment banks (average £42,000) law firms (average £38,000) and energy companies (average £32,000.)
•    Outside of the city, the highest starting salary is Aldi, which pays graduate trainee area managers £40,000.
•    Only 2 ‘major’ employers are paying less than £20,000.


•    52% of graduate employers have a similar recruitment budget to that of 2010. 32% have a budget that has ‘increased a little’ or ‘increased significantly.’
•    The top 5 universities targeted by the largest number of leading employers for the 2010-11 period are, (in order), Cambridge, Warwick, Manchester, London (refers to Imperial, LSE and the University of London) and Oxford. This is the same top 5 as the year before, just in a different order. (Previously Manchester, London, Warwick, Cambridge then Oxford.)


•    Half of employers said they had received more completed graduate job applications during the early part of this recruitment season than in the previous year. 17% said they had received slightly fewer or ‘many fewer’ application, but there isn’t an industry pattern here.

•    The average number of applications per job in 2010 was 45. With the increase of applications received so far this period, it is expected that this figure will rise for 2011.


•    More than three fifths of employers are offering industrial placements or vacation work during academic year of 2010-2011.
•    Just 6 employers are not offering any work experience at all.
•    Together there are over 10,000 work experience placements available to recent graduates or students; 10% more than 2010.
•    Three fifths of employers said it was:

“not very likely’ or ‘not likely at all’ that a graduate who had ‘no work experience at all – either with their organisation or at another employer – would be successful during their selection process.”

•    Across all employers, around 32% of this year’s graduate vacancies will be filled by applicants that have already worked for the employer.
•    The sectors where this number increases are: Investment Banking (52% of vacancies are filled by people with experience there), law (50%) and oil and energy companies (39%).


“Despite some encouraging figures, graduate recruitment remains below pre-recession levels. Across all sectors, recruitment in 2011 is still 6% below 2007 figures.”

And there it is. I didn’t mean to end of a downer and over all I think the figures are really encouraging! I intend to make some proper comment on these figures at some point, but I’m sure some of you will get in before me!

Oh and sorry for the crappy graphs, I didn’t have much time!


One response to “The Graduate Market in 2011

  1. This is really interesting (and more hopeful then I anticipated). You’ve taken to blogging like a fish to water.

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