Graduate starting-salary rises are expected to hit a five-year high this year, with some employers offering top candidates up to £35,000.
Firms represented by the Association of Graduate Recruiters indicate the average graduate salary is likely to be about £22,000 this year - 4.8 per cent up on last year.
The AGR's biannual survey of its 226 members also shows that the number of graduate vacancies is set to rise for the second year running, by 14.5 per cent.
A report on the survey findings says it is competition for the best candidates, rather than growing levels of student debt, that is fuelling the increases.
Yet employers are still reluctant to pay a premium for graduates with first-class degrees, or those who have gone on to gain a postgraduate qualification.