Top engineering and manufacturing employers received about 53 applications for every graduate job this year amid a rise in vacancies, new research suggests.
The study by High Flyers Research revealed that the number of graduate level openings available has returned to pre-recession levels.
The study found that the number of graduate vacancies in engineering and industrial companies increased by 15.5% in 2014 to 1,650, this is compared with 4,442 in the accountancy and professional services sector.
The research found that applications for graduate jobs in the engineering and industrial sector increased by 24%, with each employer receiving on average 12,100 applications in 2013-14, an average of 53.7 applications per graduate vacancy.
The survey revealed that the average graduate salary in the engineering and industrial sector is £26,500.
Martin Birchall, managing director of High Fliers Research, said: "Our latest research confirms that the number of opportunities for university-leavers at the country's most sought-after employers is now at its highest level for seven years and matches the pre-recession peak in graduate recruitment recorded in 2007."
Universities minister David Willetts added: "The results of this report are extremely encouraging and consistent with others published recently that show that the graduate employment market is going from strength to strength."
The survey involved employers including Airbus, Arup, BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty, BP, EDF Energy, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Jaguar Land Rover, National Grid, Network Rail, Roll-Royce, Siemens and Unilever.