In an ideal world, we’d all jump out of university and into a high-paying graduate job, but that’s not always the case, giving us all varying expectations of starter salaries.
A new study by Universum surveyed around 250,000 students from 50 countries and found out what business and engineering undergraduates from around the world expect to be earning in their first job after university.
The findings often reflect the country’s economy, suggesting that people are generally good at valuing their service in the context of their market.
Six of the countries with the lowest average salary expectation also have some of the lowest GDP — these include Vietnam and Ukraine, where business students expect to earn just $US6,637 and $US5,283 per annum, respectively.
On the other hand, the countries with the highest salary expectations among business and engineering students also happen to have some of the highest GDP.
As you can see, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates have the students who expected the highest salaries from their graduate jobs — over $US70,000. Engineering students in Saudi Arabia had an average salary expectation of $US88,518.
The UK and the US sit comfortably towards the upper rankings of the results. Undergraduates in both countries hope to earn $US50,000 to $US60,000 per annum following graduation.
Another more worrying find from the study shows the disparity between the salary expectations of male and female students. In almost every case, women expected to earn less than men when they graduate.
According to the study, men in business expect to earn $US3,263 a year more than their female counterparts, while male engineers want to earn $US3,179 more.
“If women do not demand higher wages during negotiations, the gap will not be narrowed unless businesses are proactive and voluntarily provide higher wages to women without being asked for them,” said Melissa Murray Bailey, President of the Americas at Universum.
“Indeed, doing exactly that could provide a unique advantage for your business. Not only would you be more likely to get top female candidates because of higher wages, but your brand would also skyrocket among the female demographic since you are taking initiative to address the pay gap issue.”
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