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The jobs market for new graduates is getting tougher, with average starting salaries remaining stagnant for the third consecutive year. Here are the job sectors that pay the best salaries, and those that lag behind, according to graduate research specialist High Fliers.
- Investment banking. With average starting salaries of £45,000 (compared with a median average of £29,000 on a national level), investment banking remains the top-paid graduate career in 2012. The resurgence in graduate recruitment within the sector has pushed up starting salaries by almost 20pc over the last two years.
- Law. Those beginning law careers can expect an average starting salary of £38,000. Leading law firms now pay a quarter more than they did in 2007.
- Oil and Energy. With starting salaries of around £32,500, the oil and energy sector slots into third place on the pay scale.
- Media. Careers in the media industry (such as advertising) can pay starting salaries of around £32,000. However, High Fliers said that most graduate roles at media organisations were commercial posts rather than editorial positions, which pay far less.
- Consulting. Consultants earn average starting salaries of £31,500.
- Banking and finance. Not cut out for investment banking but still want to follow a career in finance? Other graduate schemes such as retail banking still pay handsome starting salaries averaging £30,000.
- IT and telecommunications. Careers in IT pay starting salaries of around £30,000.
- Armed forces. Graduates joining the armed forces command a £29,500 average starting salary.
- Consumer goods manufacturing. The consumer goods sector is one of just two sectors reporting annual salary increases in 2012. Graduates start on around £28,500
- Accounting and professional services. Fancy a career as an accountant? Graduates earn average starting salaries of £28,000.
- Chemical and pharmaceutical. New recruits in this sector earn average starting salaries of £27,500.
- Engineering and industrial. Engineers are in short supply in the UK, with fresh graduates starting on around £26,500.