Healthy choice

Check your prospects and se­lect a field of study, writes Lau­re­nah­wan

The Advertiser - Careers - - Job -

DEN­TISTS are among the most suc­cess­ful univer­sity grad­u­ates in the first year af­ter com­plet­ing their stud­ies.

For sev­eral years, den­tal grad­u­ates have been the high­est paid of all grad­u­ates and, this year, will earn a me­dian an­nual salary of $80,000.

They also are in high de­mand in the work­force, with al­most 94 per cent of den­tists se­cur­ing full-time em­ploy­ment within a year of grad­u­at­ing, fig­ures re­leased by Grad­u­ate Ca­reers Aus­tralia show.

Over­all, the GCA re­search shows the me­dian an­nual start­ing salary for new grad­u­ates in­creased to $50,000 last year, from $49,000 in 2010.

Af­ter den­tistry, the high­est paid grad­u­ates are those in op­tom­e­try ($70,000), earth sciences ($65,000), engi­neer­ing ($60,000) and medicine ($58,500).

The low­est paid grad­u­ates are in the fields of phar­macy ($37,000), art and de­sign ($40,000) and so­cial sciences ($43,000) while those with the low­est em­ploy­ment rates are visual and per­form­ing arts grad­u­ates, with just 52.5 per cent in full-time work.

GCA re­search man­ager Bruce Guthrie says the re­search pro­vides an im­por­tant tool for those want­ing to com­pare them­selves with fel­low grad­u­ates but warns against us­ing it to de­ter- mine fu­ture study direc­tions. ‘‘ When­ever any­one asks me whether peo­ple use these fig­ures to de­cide what to study, I gen­er­ally say that they should study what they are go­ing to be good at,’’ Guthrie says.

‘‘ If your heart lies in do­ing per­form­ing arts then that’s what you should study.

‘‘ But this re­search helps you do so in the aware­ness that it might be hard to get a paid po­si­tion in the area.

‘‘ Our re­search is just one source of in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘ It is use­ful in pro­vid­ing some sign­posts (for fu­ture em­ploy­ment and earn­ings ex­pec­ta­tions) but it does that at a very broad level.’’

Fiona Chan grad­u­ated from Univer­sity of Queens­land’s den­tal school last year and now works for David Cox Den­tal, in in­ner Bris­bane.

While money did not mo­ti­vate her ca­reer choice, em­ploy­ment prospects were im­por­tant and Chan says she was aware of a short­age of den­tists be­fore start­ing her stud­ies.

She warns fu­ture den­tists may not be so lucky, with the Aus­tralian Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion pre­dict­ing a loom­ing over­sup­ply of den­tists caused by in­creas­ing num­bers of Aus­tralian den­tal grad­u­ates and over­seas-trained prac­ti­tion­ers.

‘‘ It is a prac­ti­cal re­al­ity of life that we need to con­sider em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­mu­ner­a­tion when it comes to choos­ing a ca­reer,’’ she says.

‘‘ But money alone will not al­low one to build an in­ter­est­ing, suc­cess­ful and sus­tain­able ca­reer.’’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.