Starting salaries for graduates continue to drop: report

Posted on 14 Apr 2014 by Callum Bentley

A report released today has highlighted further benefits to apprenticeships after starting salaries for graduate-type occupations fell almost 11% in the past five years.

According to analysis for, published today, the average starting salary for graduates in professional employment dropped by 11%, from £24,293 to £21,702 in real terms between 2007 and 2012.

The research, based on returns to the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), shows that the decline in starting salaries for graduate-type jobs is continuing and perhaps increasing. Over the period from 2005–10, graduate-type starting salaries declined by 4%, after adjustment for inflation.

However, on another positive slant for manufacturing, of the only two subject areas which showed an increase in starting salaries, materials technology was one, showing an increase in starting salaries of 13%.

All other subject areas where there was sufficient data for analysis saw starting salaries fall by 2% for general engineering.

Even Medicine and Dentistry – which had the highest starting salaries in 2007 – experienced reductions of 15% and 9% respectively.

Included in the top subjects showing the greatest positive increase in the differential between graduate and non-graduate starting salaries were materials technology (77%), mechanical engineering (45%), electrical and electronic engineering (39%) and aeronautical and manufacturing engineering (21%).