Graduates looking for jobs this summer will be able to command average salaries of nearly £22,000, according to predictions by the careers service Graduate Prospects.
While graduate salaries generally range from £13,242 to £36,000, around a quarter will start far above the national average at £25,000, it also estimated.
Three quarters of all vacancies will be open to graduates from any degree discipline, with employers sending a clear message that the “soft” skills that university life gives students are just as important, or even more than, specific subject knowledge.
Where specific degrees are required, the disciplines most in demand are engineering and technology, said Graduate Prospects.
London remains the graduate recruitment hot spot, with one in seven of vacancies advertised in London, and with the highest mean salary at £26,591.
The south east of England still has the second highest number of vacancies, though the number advertised is just 4.3 per cent.
One in five vacancies are for posts overseas, with the majority for jobs teaching English.
This shows a growing trend for a post-university “gap year” where graduates teach abroad for a year, giving them the chance to gain unique experience and make money while they consider their options.
Graduate prospects chief executive Mike Hill said: “The report really underlines the value of a degree to those entering the job market. However, the high salaries also point towards a very competitive market place but today’s graduates are more industrious than ever, using work experience and time abroad to bolster their employability.”
Positions in the management consultancy sector command the highest mean salary at £34,724, followed by the oil, mining and extractive industries at £26,474.
Management consultancy also had the highest number of vacancies (9.9 per cent), followed by banks and building societies (9.1 per cent) and civil service and local government (7.7 per cent).