Britain's top employers are set to see their recruitment of graduates hit its highest level for more than a decade this year, according to High Fliers Research.
The organisation also said that university students graduating in the summer of 2015 – including the first undergraduates to have paid tuition fees of up to £9,000-a-year for their degrees – will be paid higher graduate salaries when they start work.
"This substantial increase in graduate vacancies for 2015 takes graduate recruitment beyond the pre-recession peak in the graduate job market in 2007 and means that there will be more opportunities for this summer's university leavers than at any time in the last decade," the report said.
The study, which was conducted in December of graduate vacancies and starting salaries at the country's one hundred leading employers, showed that employers increased their graduate recruitment by 7.9% in 2014 and are set to expand their vacancies for university-leavers by a further 8.1% in 2015.
More than a quarter of graduate vacancies were cut in 2008 and 2009 at the beginning of the recession and recruitment dipped again in 2012, before returning to growth in 2013.
The research also revealed that employers in nine out of thirteen major employment areas are preparing to take on more new graduates in 2015.
The biggest increases in recruitment are at public sector employers, accounting and professional services firms, banking and finance firms, retailers and the Armed Forces, which together expect to recruit more than 1,200 extra graduates.
The median starting salary at the country's leading employers will increase to £30,000 for this year's new graduates.
Graduate pay rose for the first time in five years in 2014 – the median starting salary had previously remained unchanged at £29,000 for four years running.
The research also highlighted that graduate employers are providing an unprecedented number of paid work experience places in 2015 for university students and recent graduates, through an extensive programme of paid internships, vacation work experience and industrial placements.