According to our recent study of entry-level jobs, students that graduated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—the STEM fields—earn almost 30 percent more in some countries than the average graduate. 

To help workplace newbies see if their paychecks make the grade, Korn Ferry analysed salaries for 5.6 million entry-level positions at 20,000 companies. The firm focused on 25 entry-level professional job titles in 17 countries that have some of the planet’s best-known economies.

To the surprise of no one in career development, the study showed that in every nation analysed, STEM careers were among the highest paid for newcomers.  In Australia, the study found, STEM graduates were offered entry level salaries of between 11-17 percent above the national average across professions.

STEM careers are among the highest paid for entry-level roles in Australia: Korn Ferry Click To Tweet

An entry-level software developer in Australia can expect to make 14 percent above the national average at $74,965. New engineers and ‘environmental professionals’ can also expect starting salaries above $70,000. An entry-level engineer in the United States can expect to make 29% above the US national average at U$62,174.

New engineers in Australia can expect starting salaries above $70,000: Korn Ferry Click To Tweet

Graduates who choose STEM career paths can expect to make more than their peers, regardless of the country in which they reside but it’s important to note that simply graduating in a STEM field is no guarantee of a high salary. Many factors come into consideration when determining salaries, including market supply and demand for certain skills and the political and social situations in particular countries.

Another thing for graduates to consider is to find vocations that will allow them to follow their passion whilst having economically viable careers. To achieve that they should to try not only different roles in their planned jobs but also to make wholesale career switches—sometimes to find a better fit, sometimes to learn new skills. Organisations can assist their graduates by exposing them to several different types of career paths early on.

Top and Bottom Five Entry Level Graduate Jobs



Students that graduated in the STEM fields earn starting salaries 11-17% above national average. Click To Tweet

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About the contributor

Trevor Warden is the Co-Lead APAC Rewards & Benefits and Work Measurement at Korn Ferry. Trevor helps organisations and people become more effective through finding job clarity, enabling them to be the best they can be and building a motivating environment for high performance. During his consulting career, which spans two continents and two decades, Trevor has worked with a wide variety of organisations. He brings with him enormous experience to help organisations review their structures, create doable jobs and develop wide ranging Employee Value Propositions.

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