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First Employment Survey X2016: A pay premium of almost 45% for new hires

Ranked at the top of French engineering Schools of excellence, Ecole Polytechnique provides its engineering new graduates with an average first employment gross salary that is almost 45% higher than that of other engineering French Schools. Almost a third the Cycle Ingénieur Polytechnicien Program graduates go into research, making a major contribution to France's scientific and technological influence.
First Employment Survey X2016: A pay premium of almost 45% for new hires
06 Nov. 2023

Nearly a third of the Cycle Ingénieur Polytechnicien graduates go on to earn a PhD in sciences, contributing to France's scientific and technological influence, according to the First Employment X2016* survey, carried out from July 2022, 13 months after graduation.

Physics, computer science and applied mathematics are their preferred fields. Three quarters of the Ingénieurs polytechniciens program graduates who have opted for a PhD pursue it in France, with the remaining quarter choosing to illustrate French excellence abroad.

Supported by 23 laboratories, research at Ecole Polytechnique, which is part of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, feeds into the teaching provided by the School's education and research departments.

From the outset, Ecole Polytechnique has promoted the need to link scientific education at the highest level with cutting-edge scientific and technological research. Its academic staff and alumni have won some of the most prestigious national and international scientific awards.

Gross annual company salary of €54,000

80% of graduates from the X2016 class found a job in less than three months.

For 11% of them, X2016 graduates are continuing their studies in one of the French government's Grand Corps.

For the 47% of the X2016 graduates who entered the job market in 2021, shortly after the end of the Covid crisis, and who chose to work for a company, the average annual salary on hiring, excluding bonuses, came out at 54,000 euros, almost 45% higher than the corresponding amount received by engineers graduating from French engineering Schools who took part in the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles' 2023 First Employment survey, which came out at 37,600 euros.



This gross annual salary, excluding bonuses, for Polytechnique engineers graduating from companies in France is 8% higher than the average for the four previous surveys. For graduates who joined a company abroad, gross annual remuneration stands at 78,000 euros, in line with the average of the four previous surveys.

The content or mission of the position offered, the match with a career plan and the company's sector of activity are the criteria most favored by Ingénieur polytechnicien program graduates recruited by companies.

The proportion of graduates joining large companies (over 5,000 employees) has risen to 42% while 17% have chosen medium-sized companies (250 to 5,000 employees). The proportions joining medium-sized companies (50 to 250 employees), small companies (10 to 50 employees) and very small companies (1 to 9 employees) varied little, reaching respectively 20%, 18% and 3%.

Almost 80% of them are recruited on permanent contracts, and are very satisfied (45%) or fairly satisfied (48%) with their first experience.

Entrepreneurial spirit

In terms of sector of activity, the majority (57%) of X2016 graduates have opted for industrial jobs.

The attractiveness of the banking, insurance and finance sector continued to decline (15% of graduates hired by companies joined this sector), while the consulting sector confirmed its growth (20% of graduates joined this sector).

It should be noted, however, that many business sectors - from industry to finance and IT - outsource some of their activities to consulting firms, whose rise in recruitment may simply reflect a move to outsource activities that previously in-house activities.

Internships and gap years are still the main gateways to employment, but they are declining sharply in favor of company websites and social networks.

The reputation of X graduates with employers is one of the differentiating factors in the French rankings of engineering Grandes Ecoles.

The proportion of X2016 graduates opting for entrepreneurship remains relatively stable at 2%, and the strong presence of X alumni among the founders or managers of French unicorns or Next 120 start-ups does not seem to be determined during the course of their studies.

Underlining the school's strong entrepreneurial dynamic, a recent Figaro ranking places it at the top of engineering schools that have trained the leaders of promising young French Tech companies.

On September 28, X hosted the seminar for the first class of French Tech 2030, bringing together the program's institutional partners and the 125 winning start-ups, 16 of them from X's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The École Polytechnique, and more broadly the Institut Polytechnique de Paris of which it is a founding member, is a major player in innovation in France and internationally: 1/3 of unicorns and 35% of the Next 40 are founded or run by alumni or come from its ecosystem. Start-ups from X and IP Paris are widely represented at major innovation events such as VivaTech, Spring and CES.

*The 2023 First Employment survey of the class of the Cycle ingénieur polytechnicien program graduating in 2021 (X2016) was carried out among 512 students, including 409 French and 103 international, with a participation rate of 52.5%, stable compared with previous surveys.