With memories of Spaghetti Hoop dining and Jeremy Kyle marathons beginning to take their place in the wine cellar of the limbic system, students up and down the country are taking that jump into the icy cold water that is the real world.
Barely half of all graduates will find themselves employed six months after returning their cap and gown, with the majority failing to land a position in a degree related field. The responsibility has therefore fallen upon the big name employers who have the opportunity and burden of turning idle students into competent professionals.
Accounting, Finance & Professional Services
PwC have around 1200 graduate positions within their organisation. They are three-time winners at the National Graduate Recruitment Awards for the Accounting and Finance Management sector, collecting the accolades consecutively since 2012. PwC have been listed as the number one graduate recruiter for nearly a decade and recruit specifically in the areas of Actuarial, Consulting and Tax.
While it may be a baptism of fire, the Public Sector offers one of the best opportunities for graduates to find employment. Teach First is the largest graduate recruiter in the industry with over 1200 positions available to the wide-eyed and misleadingly academic. The sector is also supported by the NHS and Civil Service, who between them contribute another 550 jobs to the market, and not forgetting MI5 who are also listed in the Top 100 graduate employers (but mum's the word).
If you're wondering what ever happened to the carrier bag fund, Aldi appear to be passing the savings on to their staff with graduates being offered a whopping £40K salary. How they'll spend their newfound affluence is questionable, although with only 100 positions available, we'll be spared the infuriating scenario of too many moderately wealthy 20 somethings who go skiing and wear Paul Smith suits.
Elsewhere across the supermarket landscape, Lidl and Tesco also rate highly amongst graduates with the latter providing ex-students 300 opportunities to enter the company. Meanwhile, the former offers a competitive £33K salary but only has 20 places available. Oh well, every Lidl helps.
Engineering and Industry aren't necessarily the kindest of graduate employers, although getting one of the 700 places at Rolls Royce will do nothing to harm your street cred. The automotive giant has graduate openings in Manufacturing, Engineering and Planning with key areas being in Bristol and Derby. Those of a Jaguar persuasion may be more inclined to apply to Land Rover though, who offer a further 200 jobs.
Away from horsepower and wheel spin, BAE Systems offer a two year graduate scheme aimed at areas such as Civil and Electrical Engineering, Software, Manufacturing and Systems. The Defence and Aerospace specialists have around 150 graduate roles with a salary of £24K-£28K.
IT & Telecoms
With the digital revolution well in full swing, the likes of IBM, BT and Microsoft are able to take advantage of the 90's kids who were virtually born with Joystick appendages and a grasp of Internet lexicon.
IBM, are the largest IT employers for graduates with more than 350 places available to the innovative and technologically driven, although they are closely followed by BT who have a couple of hundred places open each year. Microsoft may seem the more attractive option for the tech wizards out there but with only 40 places available annually, the entry requirements appear to be as high as their stock.
While life after University may be daunting for the 350K recent graduates, some of the UK's biggest companies offer a range of schemes to get former academics off the sofa and on to the corporate ladder. Above is just Agency Central's synopsis of some of the best graduate recruiters in the country but there are other resources available if you're looking for more information.
High Fliers study offers a comprehensive report on the graduate market for 2014, reviewing vacancies and salaries at some of the UK's biggest companies.
The Graduate Recruitment Bureau provides a list of social media accounts for the top 100 graduate recruiters.
A more in depth look into the top 100 graduate employers, including reviews from actual graduates, can be found at The Job Crowd.