Students from Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial College, London, are more interested in becoming management consultants (29%) than bankers (25%), a survey shows.
But banking was a more popular career path than accountancy, law and new media in the poll of more than 1,100 students carried out by the recruitment company Fresh Minds.
Among the banks, the students wanted to work most for US firms. Goldman Sachs was the preferred employer, followed by Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, UBS Warburg, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, Barclays, ABN Amro and Lehman Brothers.
Whatever attracts students to banking, it doesn't seem to be a desire to use their brains. They rated it as the least intellectually challenging career, while law was the most challenging.
They also don't seem very altruistic, giving management consultancy - their preferred career - a low mark for its 'value to society'. They thought it offered the best opportunities for promotion however.
Fresh Minds said that the numbers of applications to different industries was closely related to the number of milk round presentations on offer.
'"The lack of information from University Careers Services.....means candidates are ill-informed about the opportunities open to them and so the industries that shout the loudest attract the most applicants," said Fresh Minds.