What starting salary should you expect after graduating?

Finishing your degree is a milestone event and, with your studies behind you, you can start looking forward to the world of work. One of the main questions on your mind as you approach the end of your course may be how much money you can make once you start your career. The answer to this is complicated. Your earning potential as a graduate will vary depending on a range of factors, and there are things you can do to increase it.

A packed Indian Bus Journey

You can learn a lot about yourself when travelling – especially using public transport in India!

Finding the right jobs

For example, it’s important to cast your net wide when you’re looking for jobs. Taking advantage of specialist recruitment agencies like STEM Graduates can help you to identify the most suitable opportunities. By applying for the best roles, you raise your chances of earning good money.

Enhancing your CV with a gap year

You might also benefit from taking a gap year and travelling. There are now a host of organised overseas expeditions on offer. These trips help you gain work experience abroad and they give insight into other cultures. They also enable you to develop a varied skill set, including teamwork, decision making and leadership. In addition, overseas adventures can raise your confidence levels. These are all important attributes that employers look for when they are taking on new workers.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a popular, rewarding gap year choice...

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a popular, rewarding gap year choice…

Experience of travel and of working abroad is particularly appealing to organisations now. After all, we live in an increasingly globalised world and employers are often looking for candidates who have an understanding of international issues and cultures. Taking a gap year provides you with a level of insight into other countries that you could never achieve by visiting them on holiday.

Industry breakdown

Of course, your earning potential as a graduate is heavily influenced by the sector you work in too. You can find out average starting salaries for specific industries online. For example, STEM Graduates estimates that the average starting salary for an IT graduate currently ranges from £21,000 to £26,000 in London and from £19,000 to £24,000 outside the capital. Meanwhile, engineering graduates typically start on salaries of between £20,000 and £25,000 and science graduates can earn anything from £18,000 to £32,000, depending on whether they have a BSc, MSc or PhD.

Many surveys that quote higher starting salaries include graduate schemes with large employers. However, it’s important to be aware that these roles are not representative of normal salary levels.

It can be difficult to predict with any real certainty the starting salary you’ll get when you leave university. As well as the field you specialise in, your earnings will be linked to your location, your qualifications and your experience, as well as the employment market conditions at the time. However, by applying for the right roles and making sure you have the desired skills and experience, you can maximise your earnings.