Scal­ing up by de­grees

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Classifieds -

UNIVER­SITY grad­u­ates who start their ca­reers on a $50,000 salary can ex­pect a $17,000 pay rise within three years.

Fig­ures re­leased by Grad­u­ate Ca­reers Aus­tralia show work­ers who grad­u­ated in 2009 were re­warded with a 34 per cent pay rise by 2012.

Al­though cre­ative arts grad­u­ates started on the low­est salary of just $40,000 af­ter fin­ish­ing uni, their pay jumped a whop­ping 50 per cent over three years to $60,000.

Ed­u­ca­tion grad­u­ates re­ceived the small­est in­crease, start­ing at $54,000 and ris­ing 20.4 per cent to $65,000.

Aus­tralia Catholic Univer­sity ca­reer de­vel­op­ment ser­vices man­ager Sally Pur­cell says the in­creases would be “quite heart­en­ing” to grad­u­ates af­ter so many years of study.

“It’s al­ways been the case (that grad­u­ates) look at those who went to work in an en­trylevel role straight from school and are now in a man­age­rial role earn­ing sim­i­lar to what they are earn­ing (in their first year out of uni) and they won­der ‘Is it worth it?’,” Pur­cell says.

“But they need to say ‘Let’s look 10 years ahead’, and then they see that, most likely, they will be ahead (of those who went to work straight from school).

“It’s all about the longer game plan.”

Pur­cell says cre­ative arts grad­u­ates – who are of­ten dis­cour­aged by poor em­ploy­ment out­comes – should be buoyed by fig­ures show­ing they ex­pe­ri­ence the big­gest leap in in­come.

“Cre­ativ­ity is highly val­ued by em­ploy­ers to­day, par­tic­u­larly with the rapid shifts in tech­nol­ogy,’’ she says.

The GCA re­search shows more than 90 per cent of 2009 grad­u­ates had found em­ploy­ment in 2012, com­pared with 76.3 per cent who found work just af­ter fin­ish­ing stud­ies.

Dario Russo, 27, ad­mits he was con­cerned about his fu­ture af­ter grad­u­at­ing with a cre­ative arts de­gree in 2007.

But he says luck, com­bined with hard work, has paid off. He co-wrote and di­rected ac­tion com­edy Dan­ger 5, shown on SBS in 2012. A sec­ond se­ries will screen this year.

“My in­come has pro­gres­sively in­creased,’’ Russo says. “To start with, I had a men­tal­ity that I will take what­ever you will give me. (In cre­ative arts), you have to scale the wage to your rep­u­ta­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence. You can’t ex­pect an amaz­ing wage when you’re start­ing out.”


BIG BUILD-UP: Di­rec­tor/pro­ducer Dario Russo at the SA Film Cor­po­ra­tion’s Ade­laide stu­dio mix­ing theatre.

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