Over half (53%) of the UK’s top 100 employers will have graduate vacancies in IT this year, according to the High Fliers study of the graduate market in 2015.
Conducted in December 2014, the research is based on the organisations named as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers 2014, which were selected in a poll of 18,336 students.
Whereas the number of vacancies at IT and telecommunications companies in 2015 was predicted to neither increase nor decrease – the only industry to cite no change this year – the number of employers across all industries advertising IT roles was found to be substantial.
Of 17 sectors, over half of the 100 employers questioned said they planned to offer roles in IT.
UK IT and telecommunications vacancies increased by 13.7% in 2014, rising from 600 in September 2013 to 830 in July 2014.
Since 2005, IT and telecommunications vacancies have increased steadily, with the High Fliers report citing the industry as the fastest growing at 160%. The public sector has increased these positions by 130% since 2005, followed by accounting and professional services (68%) and retail (41%).
In 2014 alone, the media industry saw the biggest percentage increase in IT vacancies (43.9%), followed by consulting (28.9%), engineering and industrial (20.8%) and accounting and professional services (16.3%).
Industries to see a decline included oil and energy (20.8%) and retail (13.3%).
According to the report – entitled The Graduate Market in 2015 – the largest recruiters of graduates in 2015 will be Teach First (2,060 vacancies), PwC (1,570 vacancies) and Deloitte (1,100 vacancies).
More on IT skills
Overall, UK industry sectors increased graduate vacancies in 2014 by 7.9% – the biggest increase in over a decade and a figure which is predicted to reach 8.1% for 2015 graduates.
The survey reported that more than a quarter of graduate vacancies were cut at the beginning of the recession in 2008 and 2009, with the figures dipping again in 2012. Numbers finally returned to growth in 2013.
The 2015 figures revealed that employers in nine out 13 sectors are preparing to take on more graduates this year.
Recruiters also said that 31% of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations via paid internships, industrial placements or holiday work.
Despite the number of sectors offering paid work experience increasing by 10.2% between 2014 and 2015, IT and telecommunications companies cited a decrease of 12.3%.
Starting salaries on the rise
Starting salaries overall are also on the rise. Across all sectors, the average starting salary was revealed as £30,000 for this year’s graduates. In 2014 the figure was £29,500, which was a rise for the first time in four years from £29,000.
For vacancies at IT and telecommunications companies, the salaries on offer through 2015 are predicted to be £700 higher compared with 2014.
Banking and finance predicted the highest rise in salaries, at £3,000, while the public sector predicted a £2,000 dip.
The highest published graduate starting salaries for 2015 were at Aldi (£42,000) and the European Commission (£41,500).
The majority of vacancies in 2015 will be offered in London, followed by the North West, The Midlands, the South West and the South East.