For the first time in five years, a high salary has been listed as the top priority for graduates looking for their first job.

Ernst & Young surveyed 2,205 students for the study, finding that 22% valued monetary gains as the most important factor when choosing a future employer.

High salary shares the top honours with training and development opportunities, which has held the top spot in all previous polls. Both scored 22%, but the latter had fallen from 41% in 2011.

Liz Bingham, People leader at Ernst & Young, said: “The impact of tuition fees and the realities of student debt are clear from this poll. Graduates still recognise the importance of the longer term benefits that ultimately come from pursuing an employer that offers training and development opportunities. But they are now also increasingly looking for jobs that will enable them to clear the burden of debt from their shoulders as quickly as possible.”

The poll also reports that work-life balance is becoming increasingly important to graduate job-hunters, moving to third place up from fifth in 2011.

Take a look at our overview of Graduate Salaries in 2013.

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