London: PwC says demand for graduate roles in its Consulting practice massively exceeds availability again this year, despite a big increase in jobs on offer.
Applications to the firm overall reached a record high of 24,000, or 66 per day, after it increased its number of graduate places on offer to 1450 earlier this year.
The increase included doubling the number of graduate roles in Consulting, attracting a 66% increase on last year's application levels to 12,453, or around 22 applications for each role available.
Across all student programmes, PwC received its highest ever number of applications this year. Almost 39,000 students applied for more than 2,000 graduate, school leaver, paid internships and work placements. The programme includes a female partner shadowing placement designed to attract more women to the profession.
Gaenor Bagley, head of people at PwC, said, "Despite recent concerns about levels of university applications falling, graduates still represent the lion's share of all our student applications. Demand outstrips supply in the graduate jobs market, meaning students need to look at their degree as an investment, and do all they can to maximise the value from it. Career options should be considered early, so that students can take every opportunity to meet with employers, boost their employability skills and stand out from the competition in the graduate jobs market."
Growth in PwC's business outside of London has accelerated in the past 12 months, with almost half of the PwC's new graduate roles in regional offices. Vacancies in PwC's Northern Ireland office, which is at the heart of the organisation's national technology and data analytics practice, have grown to support both domestic and overseas clients. Over 100 graduate positions are open for applications, to start working this autumn in Belfast, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Bristol, Reading and Birmingham.
Paul Terrington, PwC regional chairman in Northern Ireland, said, "Belfast is booming and offers brilliant opportunities for graduates and apprentices to work on some of our biggest client projects. We've received almost 1800 student applications this year, showing that the UK regions are an increasingly popular career choice.
"Training, support and career opportunities are identical for all PwC recruits, but in our regional offices the cost of living is often more manageable, accommodation less expensive and travel to work times can often be counted in minutes — what's not to like?"
Responding to growing market demands, PwC has 25% of its technology vacancies open to start this autumn. These include roles in cyber security, data assurance and forensic technology.
Richard Irwin, head of student recruitment at PwC, said, "It's a common misconception that graduates who join our technology practice need a technology degree. We're looking for graduate with a commercial mind-set and the drive to develop specialist skills with us. This is a fast growing, fast moving sector that graduates from all degree disciplines could consider."