Accountancy graduate applications drop 21%

The number of graduates applying for roles in the accounting sector has dropped by a fifth (21%) as the expected average starting salary for graduates rises to £24,300, according to High Fliers Research

For the third consecutive year, consulting is the top vocation for graduates but the number of graduates hoping to work in accountancy, finance and investment banking has dropped by up to a fifth. This could be due to less students applying for graduates jobs by February in their final year of university.

In 2017, only 7.9% of final year students were interested in accountancy and only 9.3% in finance positions, compared to 16.3% who were interested in consulting.

A total of 42% of university students plan to join the graduate job market in 2017, 2% less than in 2016.

Confidence in the graduate job market has decreased for the first time in five years with almost three quarters of final year students fearing that there will be fewer opportunities for new graduates in 2017 as a result of the EU referendum vote.

The average starting salary that final year students expect to earn as a new graduate has risen to £24,300, an increase of £200 from 2016. Five years after leaving university, graduates expect to be paid an average of £43,200 and a sixth believe they will be earning £100,000 or more by the age of 30.

According to Accountancy's Top 75 trainees survey, there are over 18,500 trainess at the top 75 accounting firms in 2017, 2,700 (18%) more than there was in 2016.

The UK graduate survey is based on face-to-face interviews with 20,102 final year students sudying at 30 leading universities in the UK.

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