IT graduate recruitment will plummet 7% in 2009, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), a decrease compounded by no increase in average starting salaries for the first time in the AGR’s history.
Worryingly, the IT sector registered a greater drop in graduate recruitment than the cross-industry average of 5%. Much of this is due to the banking sector, which is expecting a massive 28% cut across all graduate vacancies.
Starting salaries for IT graduates are expected to hover between £25,000 and £35,000, with an average of £27,000. Gender imbalance was also clearly apparent, with just 22% of new recruits expected to be female.
CEO of the AGR, Carl Gilleard, said the current downshift in graduate recruitment was not as dramatic as the sharp decrease in 2003, following the dot-com crash.
"By and large, while no one doubts the seriousness of the current economic downturn, the picture for graduate recruitment, though worrying, could be bleaker," he said.
Graduates unable to crack the IT industry might want to reconsider engineering: the sector recorded an 8% rise in the number of jobs on offer, and may have a shortfall of graduates to fill them.