Salary survey indicates tough market for first time creatives

Creative marketing graduates expect a 20% salary increase compared to the class of 2000 a survey of 100 graduates taking part in the gyro (GyroHSR) creative graduate recruitment programme reveals.

According to research by the b2b agency, creative graduates seeking entry-level positions in the industry now expect an average salary of £19,000, a figure which falls below inflation trends for the last decade.

The survey also uncovers the difficulties faced by first-time creatives in advertising and marketing, with graduates claiming to have applied for, on average, 22 positions prior to the gyro recruitment process. This struggle for places has been highlighted in the press recently through a government study claiming that graduate vacancies in all sectors have decreased by 7%, with an average of 70 applicants to each position. This issue is further illustrated within Marketing, with the Office for National Statistics research on general employment showing that in the Information and Communication sector, jobs in the 1st quarter have been cut by almost 7% also compared to the 1st quarter of 2009.

More than half of the graduates taking part in the survey, all of whom studied subjects related to creative marketing, such as graphic design, digital arts, illustration and advertising, plan on staying within agencies for over a decade, citing salary potential and general interest as their reasons for this.

The survey also sheds light on how this increased competition for places within graduate recruitment programmes would mean candidates are willing to undertake unpaid work experience or internships in order to be better equipped for future applications and differentiate themselves from their peers.

Comments Richard Perry, chief operations officer, gyro: “The results of this year’s survey clearly show how tough the market is for first jobbers. The calibre of this year’s applicants has been excellent, but over half graduated a year or even two years ago, showing just how difficult it is to get that first break. “We had our highest response yet to our creative graduate programme and the quality, passion and talent demonstrated by every applicant has been overwhelming, making the selection process extremely tough.”