A 2013 report from High Fliers found that the UK’s leading graduate employers will be offering an average starting salary of £29,000; although there are major fluctuations between different industries. This research also found that whereas graduate hiring decreased by 0.8% in 2012, it was predicted for 2013 that employers would be increasing their number of graduates by 2.7%, meaning it’s good news for us! The Telegraph then compiled a list of the Top 10 graduate starting salaries in the UK... take a look and see if you’re on there! (Note to fellow fashion students: you might not want to read on – the fact that our starting salary is approximately £10,000 lower than the ones on the list is quite depressing!)
=10. Engineering and industrial/chemical and pharmaceutical
Graduates here are likely to get an average starting salary of £27,500, which although is slightly lower than the average salary of £29,000, is still a very respectable amount. If you want to secure a job in either one of these industries then you’ll need a degree in biosciences, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, electronic engineering, any medicine-related courses, pharmacology or physics... fun!
9. Consumer Goods
Whilst the consumer goods sector has seen average annual salaries decrease by 4.4% since 2007, a job in this area will still secure the 9th top paid graduate starting salaries in the UK at just over £27,500. However, expect a lot of competition, as this industry was the most competitive graduate job sector in 2012, with approximately 163.8 applicants applying per place. Degrees in art and design, business and production engineering are most likely to guarantee you a success of gaining a job in this area.
8. Accounting and Professional Services
Yes, I know we all have this idea in our heads that all accountants are boring, but they’ll be having the last laugh with their starting salaries at £29,000. Despite the recession, this figure has remained steady with the exception of a 3.1% drop in 2007; with the opportunity to earn major money as you work your way up the career ladder. Whilst a degree in finance and accounting may seem like the obvious route, other degree-holders can also get a job in this area, although they’ll need to sit some tests before they become qualified.
7. Armed Forces
Perhaps surprising, graduates joining the armed forces enjoy a £29,500 average starting salary; although these rates are extremely unstable, with salaries dropping more than any other sector since 2007, by a huge 47.9%. With a wide range of jobs on offer – from aeronautical engineers to emergency planning and research scientists – there is no definitive way in; with recent graduate officers to have reportedly held degrees in medicine and zoology.
6. Banking and finance
Covering retail banking and not investment (more on that later); salary prospects are good, with an average starting salary of £30,000. You’ll need to be excellent at maths, with some kind of a financial degree to give you the best chance of securing this kind of career.
Consultants can cover a large range of subjects, with consultancy firms specialising in everything from marketing and HR to IT and strategy; so if you’re studying (or have studied) some form of a business degree, it’s likely you’ll be able to get into consultancy – and with an average starting salary of £31,500, why not?!
Rather than covering media as a whole, the highest paid media positions are commercial, with starting salaries of around £32,500 – rather than editorial, which pay much less. Often seen as an attractive and exciting industry, it can be very competitive, so for the best chance of success, a degree in communications and media studies is a good idea. However, art based subjects are also good if you’re considering a creative job, with journalism or evidence of your literary skills if you’re considering an editorial role.
=3. Oil and energy
With starting salaries of around £32,500; it would seem that all of those geography students who have had to put up with jokes about their degree choice will have the last laugh should they decide to go into the oil and energy industry! However, it’s not just geography graduates who can secure employment in this industry, with chemical engineering, general engineering and material science good degrees to have too.
Of course, we all knew it was going to be near the top of the list! With starting salaries of £38,000, leading law firms now pay 25% more than what they did in 2007. You don’t even need a law degree to be able to get into this industry, as you can opt to do a law conversion after – however, for the most likely chance to be accepted on this course, your first degree will be from a Russell Group University.
1. Investment Banking
Perhaps not surprisingly, the highest paid graduate starting salary in the UK is that of investment banking, at a staggering £45,000! With a recent resurgence in graduate recruitment, salaries have increased by almost 20% over the last two years. While business and economics may seem like the obvious route to this career, investment banks often recruit students based on their analytical skills, meaning mathematics and physics degrees are just as good!
Written by Elle Pollicott