It's not easy to get a graduate job. It's particularly hard to get a graduate job in investment banking or fund management. The results to the UK's Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) annual survey are out. They suggest that for the year 2012-2013, major banks and fund managers in the UK offered 813 graduate jobs. For these 813 vacancies they received 110,000 applications, or 135 applications for every single student role.
The AGR doesn't survey every single bank and fund manager in the UK, but it surveys quite a few. Respondents included: Baillie Gifford, Barclays, BNP Paribas, BofA Merrill Lynch, Commerzbank, Fidelity Worldwide Investments, HSBC, ICAP, Macquarie, Morgan Stanley, Nomura and UBS.
Needless to say, banking is less accessible to students than most other industries. On average, graduate hirers in the UK received 85 applications per job - making banking 60% harder to get into. Students who want an easier option are advised to apply to accountancy or professional services firms (a mere 36 applications per job) or consulting and business services firms (a mere 49 applications per job).
The allure of investment banking and fund management is clear: money. The AGR found that average starting salary for graduates in investment banking is static at £38k. This compares to a UK average of £27k.
With that sort of differential, it's clear why students keep trying their luck in an industry which is so obviously over-subscribed. On the other hand, investment banking is at least easier to get into than consumer goods, where average pay is the exact £27k average.