Management consultancy and financial services are the most popular jobs for graduates, new research has found.
Just one in five of the top 100 employers mentioned in a survey of 11,500 students by High Fliers Research were industrial or manufacturing companies.
The study found management consultant Andersen Consulting was the most attractive UK employer for new graduates. Its sister company, accountant Arthur Andersen, came second.
The top manufacturer was Ford, in 11th place. Engineering giants Shell, British Aerospace and GKN were all outside the top 20. Rover, which was in 48th place last year, has dropped out of the top 100.
PricewaterhouseCoopers took third place as management consultancy emerged as the preferred career choice for graduates. One in seven final-year students said they would apply for jobs in the sector.
Marketing and the media were the next most popular sectors. Marks & Spencer came seventh in the list of employers, despite cancelling its 1999 graduate intake because of its poor financial performance.
Martin Birchall, who directed the survey, said most graduates were looking for a `balanced package’ which offered career development as well as a good salary.
Average pay for graduate trainees is £16,500, but the highest starting salary offered was £42,000.
There are over 9,000 applications each year for Andersen Consulting’s 350 graduate trainee positions. The company pays a £25,600 starting salary, plus a £1,750 `golden hello’ bonus to entice recruits.
Jonathan Ferrar, head of UK recruiting at Andersen Consulting, said the best students were becoming more skilled at marketing themselves and were making fewer applications.
John Robinson writes for Personnel Today magazine