39 graduates are fighting it out for every job

Consumer goods companies, the oil and energy industry and the media are super competitive, as the number of graduate jobs returns to pre-recession levels.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 09 Jul 2014

Graduates don’t want to save the world or rake in cash at an investment bank - they’d rather sell soap or market Mars bars. The most competitive graduate jobs are in the consumer goods industry, followed by vacancies in oil and energy and the media, according to High Fliers Research.

Companies including Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Mars got an average of 186.3 applications for graduate positions this academic year, up from 162 in 2012-13, according to data from businesses featured in The Times top 100 graduate employers. Best of luck Paul Polman wannabes…

‘Big Six’-bashing hasn’t put students off, with 97.8 applying for every position in oil and energy companies including EDF, BP and General Electric. Media jobs were also more competitive than the Djokovic-Federer Wimbledon final, as 86.6 fought over every graduate job. That was down from 126.6 in 2012-13, though.

The armed forces brought up the rear, with just 7.5 applicants for every job, followed by accounting and professional services with 21.3, bringing the average for the 100 companies down to 39.2.

Bean counters had by far the most vacancies, though, with 4,442 up for grabs this academic year, trailed by the 3,415 spots in the public sector and 2,148 in investment banking.

Overall, graduate jobs on offer jumped 11.6% this academic year to the highest level since 2007. Media company vacancies had the biggest proportional jump, up 28% to 338. Consultancies hired 27.2% more and accountants 23.8%.

Students shouldn’t cheer too soon, though. The number of graduates has gone up 23% to 365,000 since 2007. Vacancies at The Times top 100 have only risen 4.5% in the same period. The competition for graduate jobs is going to be tooth and nail for some time yet.

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