Over the last two to three years graduate starting salaries have remained static in the UK, holding at around £24k per annum. However, with £24,000 a year being the average, the pay scale varies dramatically from end-to-end, going from £20,000 and topping up at close to £30,000. As shown below, the top salaries are originating from the investment banking services, with the legal profession following after.
Graduates can be found to earn £30k+ in the media, energy and consultancy services. With regards to the media industry, however, wages are much lower for journalistic/editorial roles.
Given the job market and the double-dip recession we have currently entered into, there's always the temptation to accept any starting salary. Remember, though, that it's a lot harder to ask for more money when in a position compared to at the interview stage. The first thing you need to do is take an honest appraisal of yourself, your skills, experience and qualifications matched against your competition, what the job is asking for and what other similar jobs are offering.
Then, you set a target minimum salary just above what you would really accept, knowing there's some wiggle-room to be negotiated downwards and to give your prospective employer the impression they're getting a deal. Knowing the company and how healthy they are financially should partially determine the number you set. The rest is on you to prove you're really worth the amount you're asking, and if you can argue that case persuasively then your chances are even better.
Read our salary advice for more negotiation tips and information on how much you should be earning.