Business & Financial Careers Opportunities & Development Advice Guidance - Information & News From Your Career Guide

Your Career in Business & Finance

Graduate Recruitment

Graduate recruitment and salaries
Graduates are used as the main source of recruitment in most of the major financial houses.

  • In 2006, 2,600 graduates were recruited by the wholesale financial organisations alone.
  • Overall, financial vacancies accounted for over 15% of all graduate vacancies.

Numbers are anticipated to grow year-on-year, due to employers wanting to attract employees with the highest skills. This is a competitive market and salaries and incentives are going ever higher.

The graduates who entered banking and financial careers in 2007 benefited from this and received salaries that averaged at £37k. Compare this to the average of all graduate careers of £18,744! This places financial careers ahead of all others including traditionally well-paid areas like law. Be warned employers are unlikely to increase earnings much more and analysts are predicting a slow down and perhaps even a reduction over the coming year.

 ‘Enjoy it while you can, (financial) graduate salaries may have peaked’ (July 2007)

  • Graduates from various courses ranging from finance to music have been recruited.
  • The most recruited graduates are from economics, followed by business study courses.
  • Almost one-third (32.7 per cent) of employees graduated from five universities, of which four are members of the Russell Group.
  • A total of 20 universities contributed more than half of all first degree recruits.
  • The sector recruits a large proportion of non-UK graduates: from France, Germany, Eastern Europe and the Far East. Many of these have not studied in the UK first.

Graduate training programmes
Most banks, accountancy firms and building societies offer a graduate training programme. It is the recruits of these programmes who are fast-tracked and promoted to branch or head office management.

There are also opportunities for graduates with specialist degrees in human resources and marketing.

  • Graduates from all courses will be considered for the general opportunities, but those with a degree in economics, business, quantitative or qualitative subjects are preferred. Some employers will consider you if you have studied one of these subjects as part of your non-financial course.
  • Graduates from IT courses are in demand due to the reliance the sector has on technology.
  • The estimated cost of employing an accountancy trainee is £100k.

Considering a postgraduate course?
The range is huge. There are over 430 economics postgraduate courses within the UK. If economics isn’t for you, choose from such subjects as investment management, financial risk management and capital markets regulation and compliance.

Employers value the skills that postgraduates offer and there is increasing evidence than some are actively seeking applicants with postgraduate qualifications.

Your subject does not have to be financially based. Some students with specialist qualifications such as an MSc or PhD are recruited due to their decision making, problem solving and independent thinking skills.


  • In 2005 postgraduates accounted for 25% of the sector’s total graduate intake.
  • Some universities have invested heavily in their postgraduate opportunities and provide state of the art facilities. Many offer teaching from lecturers who have very recent work experience.