More than a third of students graduating from university this year had secured a graduate job before sitting their final exams, according to research from High Fliers.

The recent survey – of more than 18,000 final year students from 30 UK universities – found that the first set of graduates to pay higher fees have left university with a sharper focus on finding employment after graduation.

Graduate employment reaching record levels

Almost half of those surveyed had begun their job search before the end of their first year, when compared to just 30% for those who graduated in 2010.

Meanwhile, half of the graduates had said they had completed course placements, holiday work or internships during their time at university.

However, it was the final year students from the London School of Economics that were the most successful in securing graduate job offers, with 67% of those questioned having landed a graduate role.

Imperial College London, Warwick University, the University of Cambridge and Bath University closely followed behind.

Martin Birchall, the Managing Director of High Fliers Research, said this year’s graduates were much more prepared for the competitive job market than any other group in the past 20 years.

While the class of 2015 have faced the highest tuition fees, a huge number have already secured a graduate job and the amount of graduates who are uncertain about their future is at its lowest level in 17 years, he added.

The survey also found that for the first time since 2001, Consulting received the largest proportion of job applications, followed by Marketing and Media.

The average salary that graduates can expect to receive is the highest for seven years, currently standing at £23,700.

Nick Hillman, the Former Special Adviser on Universities under the Coalition Government and Head of the Higher Education Policy Institute, explained that this increase could be largely down to students being more demanding of themselves and their institutions.

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