How students can optimise their earnings after graduation

Submitted by ashton.wenborn on Mon, 03/14/2022 - 10:24

Sponsored content: created in partnership with Prograd.

Ethan Fraenkel and Marco Logiudice started Prograd because, as students and then graduates, they felt shut out of the credit system. Even when they understood what a credit card or loan provider was offering them, they kept getting rejected for funding. Frustrated, they built Prograd, a financial platform with a mission to make taking credit understandable and empowering for young people.

Your graduate job and salary can make a huge difference to your credit journey, so Prograd analysed the salary data of more than one million graduates over the past five years to see what students got right and wrong during their graduate job application process. 

This is what they found out:

Internships can make a huge difference to starting salaries

Employers’ data shows that students who had previous work experience, such as an internship, year in industry or part-time job, and converted the opportunity into a full-time role, earn approximately £5,000 more than the average graduate. That’s a 21 per cent increase on the UK’s average graduate starting salary .

This makes internships and placements important tools, not only for finding a job after graduation but for achieving a more competitive starting salary.

Doing what you love has multiple benefits

Prograd data suggests that those who find their work “meaningful” earn, on average, 25 per cent more than those who do not.

The saying goes, “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Apparently, you’ll also get paid more.

Be open to broadening your horizons

Recruitment data shows that students who are willing to relocate for work earn, on average, a starting salary 5 per cent higher than students who prefer to stay in their home region. Being open in terms of the industries to which you apply also has a positive impact on your starting salary.

Being open-minded to new challenges and relocation can help you grow your network and your net worth.

There’s no winning formula to the application grind

Applying for graduate jobs is not an easy process and is often a frustrating one. Some applicants will prioritise sending many applications, while others prefer to take a more curated approach.

Data from Prograd’s partner recruiters shows there is no winning strategy. In fact, it found no significant correlation (positive or negative) between the number of applications submitted and the salary of a graduate. Find a strategy that allows you to be consistent in submitting high-quality applications for positions you are genuinely interested in.

Further education can make you richer. But it takes time.

Postgraduate degrees, particularly research postgrads or PhDs, lead to an uplift in salary of approximately 45 per cent compared with the average salary of an undergraduate.

While there are clear benefits to undertaking further study, consider both the monetary and opportunity cost. Is a master’s or PhD the best way to spend your money and time, given your goals and the other ways you could be using your resources?

Every student’s academic journey is unique, with varying circumstances, challenges and goals. It’s important to realise that whatever your circumstances, your grades and the level of study remain the greatest factors influencing your post-graduation salary.

Perhaps salary doesn’t factor into your measure of success. But if it does, keep these insights in mind.

Prograd’s mission is to make it easy for young people to find, understand and repay any funding they might need to get ahead in life.

Find out more about Prograd and sign up for the marketplace waiting list.

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Student data reveals what learners can do to optimise their earnings after graduation

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