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Banking sector receives twice as many graduate applications as law

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But being a solicitor pays more

Canary Wharf

A survey conduct by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has revealed that the banking sector is twice as popular with graduates as law.

The research revealed that, on average, law firms receive 42 applications for every training contract vacancy that they advertise. In comparison, the banking sector receives 78 applications for each graduate position. Accountancy firms receive a mere 22 applications per vacancy.

The research — which saw 205 large graduate employers offering a total of 24,126 positions questioned — also examined the starting salaries of those entering various industries at graduate level, with the average pay packet standing at £28,000.

Law topped the money table, with firms handing out on average £37,000 for those lucky enough to secure a training contract. The banking sector came in second with an average graduate salary of £31,520. Accountancy was dead on the £28,000 average, while retail graduates languished at the foot of the table taking home just £21,500 a year.

Another topic examined by the AGR was who was least likely to renege on a job offer. Law students also topped this table, with just 1.3% of accepted training contracts later turned down by graduates. In comparison, 12.9% of those who secured job offers in the accountancy sector and 12.8% of those who bagged a graduate role in banking went on to snub it.

With law schools producing far more aspiring lawyers than training contracts on offer — in 2014, 5,514 new trainee solicitors were registered with the Solicitors Regulation Authority, however 6,171 students successfully completed the LPC — this was perhaps the least surprising finding.

Finally, the research also revealed that law firms invest the most financially when it comes to graduate development.

With professional qualifications such as the Legal Practice Course (LPC), Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and other financial grants factored into the study, it costs a law firm an average of £16,975 to develop just one trainee lawyer. In comparison, the typical cost for developing a graduate in the banking or financial services sector is just £2,861.