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University of Bristol graduates fourth most targeted by employers

Photo by William Chang / Unsplash

By Josie Hodgson, Politics and International relations, Second Year

According to High Fliers Research, Bristol graduates are the fourth most targeted by employers out of all UK universities.

As post-pandemic graduate recruitment returns to a ‘new normal’, Bristol graduates are increasingly targeted by top employers. Employment levels and salaries are at an all-time high.

The Coronavirus pandemic hindered graduate recruitment in 2019-2020, with graduate recruitment dropping by 12 per cent. In combination with the Bank of England prediction of a prolonged recession during 2023, graduate recruitment opportunities have seemed few-and-far between.

However, recent research has confirmed that graduate recruitment is at its best-ever level: 10 per cent above the pre-pandemic peak in recruitment in 2019. Three-fifths of employers are now planning on recruiting more graduates in 2023 in comparison to 2022, with the median number of graduate vacancies available for university-leavers at 150 per employer.

Graduate starting salaries are also on the rise for the second consecutive year, with the median graduate starting salary on offer from the UK’s leading employers expected to rise to £33,500 in 2023; an increase of £1,500 compared to 2022’s figures.

Bristol falls behind Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham, and is followed by Warwick, Leeds, UCL, Cambridge, Durham and Southampton.

Stuart Johnson, Director of the University of Bristol’s Career Service, said: ‘It’s fantastic that, once again, the UK’s biggest and most successful organisations are saying that they want to snap up Bristol graduates. We are immensely proud of our graduates, who are out there now working hard, using their skills and helping to make these organisations even better’.

University of Bristol graduates are also being encouraged to pursue their own business ideas, following the rise of Bristol graduate businesses such as PEEQUAL, creator of the UK’s first female urinal; Milbotix, creator of smart socks, helping people with dementia and autism; Perceptual Robotics, creator of autonomous drones for inspecting wind turbines; Hybr, a student rentals platform and Simmer, a food delivery service which originated in student halls.

Among the highest-paying sectors for new graduates, unsurprisingly, is investment banking, now offering a median starting salary of £55,000.

Trainee solicitors at the country’s top law firms can expect a starting salary of £50,000, and leading strategy consulting firms see a median starting salary of £47,500. Beyond the City and legal sector, the retailer Aldi is offering a starting salary of £50,000 through its popular trainee area manager programme.

However, in the current recruitment season, competition has increased, with almost half of the country’s top graduate employers having seen a rise in applications, alongside an overall average rise of 8 per cent in 2022-2023. Similarly, there has been a ‘noticeable’ improvement in the quality of applications in some cases, as reported by a fifth of employers.

The most oversubscribed graduate programmes were those in consumer goods and oil and energy companies, with more than 100 graduates competing for each position. Engineering, industrial, accountancy, professional services firms and public sector organisations all saw lower application rates.