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2022 graduates face higher salaries and more opportunities

The luck of the class of 2022 is changing. Despite the disruptions from Covid, high profile layoffs, and crypto crashes, job opportunities for graduates are growing. Year-on-year, job opportunities for graduates are growing strongly, as well as pay rates. 


Graduate job ads on the rise

In May 2022, the UK saw 14,960 advertised graduate roles. To compare, this time last year had 59% less graduate jobs on offer, at 9,265 roles. This huge increase is due to talent shortages in workforces, meaning that employers are turning to graduates to plug these gaps. However, it is also important to compare this to the number of graduates in 2022. HESA estimates that around 540,000 students will graduate this year, meaning that more than 36 graduates will be competing for each opportunity this summer. 



Average salary for graduates

Employers are fighting for the top talent, meaning that pay rates are rising for graduates. In May 2022, advertised salaries for graduate job ads reached £26,076. This is a year-on-year increase of 7%, as well as being a six year high for graduate salaries. For graduates wanting to enter the most competitive sectors, there are salaries of up to a huge £70,000 on offer.



Highest paying graduate schemes

With inflation rising at the fastest rate for 40 years, attention is turning to securing the highest salary possible for many. As a result of the cost of living crisis, some employers are raising salaries for grads. 

Law remains one of the highest paying sectors for graduates. US legal firms have seen the biggest increases in salaries. One example of this is Davis Polk & Wardwell who have increased their salaries for newly qualified solicitors (NQs) by a huge 8.5% from £147,500 to £160,000. Graduates at the firm also earn a very healthy £60,000. Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is currently offering graduates £50,000 in their first year. This rises to £125,000 following the completion of qualifications.

Banking is also a very lucrative sector for graduates to enter. Barclays offers grads a lucrative salary of £50,000 and RBS offers £31,850. JP Morgan has one of the highest offerings, with graduate salaries reaching up to £70,000.

MI5 offers grads a salary of £33,000 whilst BP offers salaries of £35,000-£45,000.


So, there it is, an overview of how to secure the top graduate roles. Overall, this year’s graduates are in a pretty good position, with graduate positions on the rise as well as their salaries. With the cost of living rising at an extraordinary rate, it is important to make sure that you are being paid the right amount. A great way to do this is to use our ValueMyCV tool.


💡 Read more: The top 10 most valuable degrees

Looking for a graduate role? Check out our designated graduate job section on our website.