Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Graduates expect banking and tech to be biggest payers 10 years from now

Today’s graduates overwhelmingly believe that finance and technology will be the highest-paying sectors for university leavers a decade from now, new research suggests.

Graduate jobs forum WikiJob asked over 1,000 students and graduates which industry they thought would pay the highest starting salary in 10 years’ time, with banking/financial services (39%) and IT/technology (32%) the clear winners.

Third and fourth place went to business/management consulting (12%) and accounting/auditing (10%). Law was fifth with 6% of the vote.

Commenting on the findings, James Rice, Head of Digital Marketing at WikiJob, said: “Our audience tends to favour financial services, so we weren’t surprised to see banking viewed as the top-paying industry for graduates a decade from now. But we didn’t expect tech to run it so close. That really does show how tech is moving ahead of once-dominant industries such as law and consulting, in terms of its salary attraction for graduates.”

Lynda Spiegel, an HR professional and founder of Rising Star Resumes, believes that Millennials are starting to turn away from traditional career paths, and “...because tech is ever-evolving and always reinventing itself, there are more opportunities. Corporate culture-wise, the casualness of most tech companies is far more hospitable [to graduates] than the button-down financial sector.”

Manraj Chhina, Head of Customer Success at London tech start-up Claimable, also thinks that the IT/tech industry offers better prospects for graduates. “If you ignore innovation and disruption you do so at your own peril,” says Chhina. “Traditional corporations have had to adapt, and many launch their own incubators, funds and innovation

“Working in tech can present graduates with unmatched prospects, in the sense that tech startups in particular still tend to hire young and offer progression as the company grows. As opposed to the financial sector, with its very traditional sense of ‘climbing the ladder’.”