Salary expectations among NI undergraduates jumps by 8.3 per cent in a year

Salary expectations among the average Northern Ireland undergraduate has jumped by 8.3 per cent in a year.

SALARY expectations among the north’s pending graduates has jumped by 8.3 per cent in the last year, according to a new survey.

The average student now expects to start their first post-graduate post on £25,148 to £27,256 a year.

The research, conducted by Universum. a sister company of recruitment platform NIJobs, is based on the views of around 600 students from Queens University and Ulster University.

The ‘Most Attractive Employers’ survey revealed students rank job security, career development and salary as the three most important factors when considering employment.

More than half of all female respondents (53 per cent), placed a friendly work environment in the top spot.

Some 61 per cent of male students said high future earnings was their primary focus.

Flexible working was ranked least important for females and fail to make the top 10 attributes for males.

A survey among 600 students in the north showed higher salary expectations among male students.


Universum’s UK and Ireland business director, Steve Ward, said the emphasis on salary and job security suggests students are considering the implications and long-term impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s clear that they want to be rewarded for their expertise, but they also want to have security that will allow them to provide for their future.

“In contrast to male students prioritising high future earnings, female students value a friendly work environment.

“This shows that job security and other financial attributes are, of course important, but staff do want to feel valued and part of positive work culture. It’s important that employers strike the right balance between reward and recognition especially with fresh talent coming to the workplace.

“As the number of graduate roles are likely to increase, employees are at an advantage and, in many cases, will be able to name their price. Employers need to be prepared to compete and offer an attractive package in the current climate.”