At 36,500 euros per year, the salaries of young graduates from the Grandes Ecoles are on the rise again

After the “air hole” of the year 2021, the job market is once again smiling at young graduates from the grandes écoles. “All sectors are looking for: industry, banking, insurance, consulting… There are currently major recruitment needs”rejoices Laurent Champaney, president of the Conférence des grandes écoles and director of the National School of Arts and Crafts.

The survey of students released in 2021, published on Wednesday June 15, shows a real change compared to the same study carried out a year earlier. It must be said that the promotion of 2020 had suffered from the effects of the health crisis. Its employment rate had unscrewed: it was 79% six months after leaving school, against 90% for the class of 2021.

At the time of the survey (at the start of 2022), 89% of respondents were on permanent contracts. “The main indicators have returned to their pre-crisis level. The context is very favorable to young graduates”comments Nicolas Glady, director of Telecom Paris.

The salaries reflect this. For the promotion of 2021, the annual gross salary amounts to 36,550 euros on average, compared to 35,460 euros during the same survey a year ago. Progress to be taken with a grain of salt: in constant euros, the starting salary of graduates of the Grandes Ecoles has been falling slightly for fifteen years.

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Learning continues to break through

Unsurprisingly, the sectors that pay the best are financial activities and insurance. Young engineers who have chosen to start their career in these fields earn an average of 42,800 euros. For business school graduates, it’s even more: the average is 45,300 euros.

At the bottom of the table are the textile industry, the audiovisual industry, or even commerce: the salaries received by the class of 2021 in these sectors are around 34,000 euros per year. On the engineering side, the lowest salaries are for graduates working in research and development. Or those who officiate in the food industry (31,800 euros per year), which is also the sector where the share of women is the most important.

The pay gap between men and women is widest in the banking and insurance sector

Overall, business school graduates are slightly better paid (+6%) than those coming out of engineering schools. But persistently, women continue, as soon as they leave school, to receive lower salaries than men: per year, female graduates receive 1,760 euros less than their colleagues. The Conference of Grandes Ecoles has mapped the areas where the differences between men and women are the greatest: it is in the banking and insurance sector that the differences are the greatest.

In addition, fewer and fewer graduates go abroad after their studies. The proportion of those who are posted abroad has been on a downward trend for several years: it concerns 11.7% of the class of 2021, whereas ten years ago, this rate fluctuated around 15%. At the top of the destination podium: Switzerland, which overtook the United Kingdom. Behind are Luxembourg and Germany. Among the Swiss, the salaries of young graduates are skyrocketing: those who responded to the survey declare an average of 69,600 euros gross per year.

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Finally, apprenticeship continues to make inroads into the world of higher education, even though the effect of recent aid is not fully visible in this year’s figures. This mode of study is becoming more and more frequent: 36% of business school graduates followed their last year of master’s degree on a work-study basis, and 14% of engineers.

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