Entering the world of employment can be challenging for the 14 million-plus graduates gearing up to start their working careers.

With figures showing that graduate starting salaries have remained unchanged for the fifth consecutive year, Fresh Student Living has delved into what those leaving university can expect from the job market, and whether there have been significant changes impacting students and graduates over the years.

Research from YouGov shows that 81% of students admit feeling pressured to find a job within the first six months of graduating, with the top reasons to find a job quickly being:

  • Wanting to earn money or have disposable income (82%)
  • Career aspirations (78%)
  • The belief that job prospects are thin on the ground (45%)
  • The desire to start paying back their student loan (23%)
  • Providing financial support from their family (24%)

Average starting salaries today

It has been revealed that over half (53%) of students are not confident about their job prospects after graduating.

Further research shows that both men and women feel doubtful about their graduate starting salaries, women feel this way more so. While students are seemingly already cynical about their career opportunities and pay, women are pricing themselves almost four grand lower than their male counterparts.

Subjects with The Highest Salaries


Average Salary



Chemical Engineering


Veterinary Medicine




General Engineering


Mechanical Engineering



Subject with The Lowest Salaries


Average Salary

Media Studies


Optometry, Ophthalmology & Orthoptics


Drama, Dance & Cinematics


East & South Asian Studies


Creative Writing


Creative Arts & Design



Salaries for Some of The Most Popular Subjects


Average Salary











The Hardest to Fill Roles and Skill Gaps in the UK

Recent Research by Bidwells has revealed that several popular subjects studied by university students have significant skills gaps. This is when graduates are most likely to find employment when they enter the job market, but because of the skills gap, they may have the right qualifications to enter these fields.

Sectors with the biggest skills gaps:

  • Science and Technology: -69.49%
  • Construction: -66.75%
  • Education: -66.51%
  • Health and Social Work: -51.79%
  • Manufacturing: -42.3%

Although there are some industries and sectors who prefer experience to qualifications, bridging courses and online boot camps can assist with closing the gap and enabling more students to successfully find employment after finishing at university.

Best Location for Graduates Seeking Jobs

In 2018, London, the Education Capital of the World, also doubled up as the UK’s biggest hotspot for graduate recruitment; offering just under half of all vacancies based in the UK.

  1. London
  2. South East
  3. West Midlands
  4. North West
  5. Yorkshire and Humberside
  6. South West
  7. Scotland
  8. East Midlands
  9. East of England
  10. North East
  11. Wales
  12. Northern Ireland


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