Graduate Starting Salaries: What’s Really Important

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Graduate starting salaries seem to be a hugely influential factor for graduates looking to find their first job. But are graduates focusing too much on the offered salary rather than considering the whole package and their future prospects?

Many graduates spend part of their job searching time trying to figure out what starting salary they should expect from their first job after university. However, this may be a waste of their time.

It is perfectly understandable that graduates want to start their career earning a good wage after their hard work at university. Not to mention, they want to start seeing a return for the debt they have gotten themselves into! However, when looking for a graduate job it is important not to judge an opportunity solely on the salary listed there. Instead, graduates should be considering whether a position offers them long-term earning potential.

Graduates need to be aware that the salary listed on a job description is just a starting salary and in fact, their salary could well increase quite quickly as they develop within the role. Opportunities that offer high starting salaries may hook graduates in, but then they could be stuck at that level for a number of years. On the other side of the spectrum, a business may offer a slightly lower starting salary but there may be a clear training structure in place that allows graduates to develop and increase their wage as they progress within the company.

Ultimately, graduates need to find out and weigh up everything that is on offer. What’s more important than a high starting salary is finding an opportunity that will be able to provide thorough training, an experienced mentor and a clear progression path. Your first graduate job is going to build your skills and develop knowledge that will form the foundations of your career.

Don’t let money completely rule your mind, you’ll make plenty of it once you have the skills and experience to help you forge a successful career.

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3 Comments

    • But at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of graduates and only a limited number of graduate jobs. A company doesn’t care about the feelings of a graduate applying for a job with them, they merely care about who can do the best job for the lowest possible price.

      • I think that if graduates are having a hard time finding a job it can sometimes feel that way, Matt. Ultimately, a company does want to find a graduate that fits their business and is going to do a brilliant job, that’s how they are going to make money.

        Some companies can probably do more to help graduates who are unsuccessful by providing feedback though.

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