Latest figures show the number of positions in accounting insurance are set to fall from 3,117 to 3,076, a fall of just 1.3%, compared with an overall decline in jobs from 11,347 to 10,898, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
The situation is expected to be rosier for those in banking and finance, with with vacancies actually growing by 6% from 1,551 to 1,644.
The accounting class of 2002 can expect 4.4% bigger salary compared to last year’s intake, but will still only earn an average annual wage of £18,125 substantially lower than bankers, £23,000, and lawyers, £27,700.
Overall starting salaries will range from £14,500 to £35,000, with the average salary valued at £20,000, a 5% increase on last year’s £19,000. Only 10% of graduates can look forward to a bumper salary in excess of £27,000.
Interestingly, the survey revealed that the most desirable skills related to personal and human abilities, such the ability to be motivated and enthusiastic, and interpersonal skills like teamwork, oral communication, flexibility and adaptability.
These were also the areas where the greatest gaps existed where their importance was not matched with adequate supply.
Important tangible skills included foreign languages and IT skills.
Carl Gilleard, chief executive of AGR said he was pleased that some employers had managed to maintain their intake levels, but added: ‘Graduates need to be on the ball, flexible about their preferred industry choice and clear about the skills employers are looking for.’
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