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High paying jobs with a university degree

Are you going back to uni to get a better job? Does a more prestigious university result in more pay? 

Every year, thousands of Australians clamour for places in the top universities – University of Melbourne is ranked 1st by the Excellence in Research for Australia and equal 41st in the QS World University rankings. The Australian National University is ranked 20th in the QS; 48 in the Times of London Higher Education rankings, while University of Melbourne is placed 32nd. On the face of it, what does it all mean? For many, going to university is the first step in a professional career.

The question is this: does attending a better-ranked university mean better prospects or higher pay?

According to new research from Adzuna’s ValueMyCV, the results may not be as clear cut as a higher university rank meaning higher pay.

ValueMyCV cross matches a job candidate’s CV with a number of data points to produce an average pay figure.

Those leaving with Accounting and Finance degrees

  • The University of Melbourne will enjoy an average pay of $105,754
  • The equivalent at Australian National University will net a graduate an average of $130,672
  • The Accounting and Finance degree comes close to their counterparts in Parkville with $101,867.

Electing for a single Accounting degree

  • University of South Australia will see an average pay packet of $118,659, beating out the higher-ranked Monash and Melbourne Universities.

Engineering course

  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology comes out miles ahead on $119,103

What does it mean for prospective students?

Course choice makes a significant impact; someone graduating at the University of Melbourne with a finance degree has an average earning of $245,381 while their communications studying counterpart sees an average of $84,358. Even so, it seems that prestige doesn’t necessarily mean higher pay.

“There’s been a lot of slick marketing from universities touting their rankings in research, degree outcomes, and how long they’ve been around,” says Raife Watson, CEO for Adzuna Australia. “Our ValueMyCV data set shows that there are many different variables when it comes to what a job seeker is worth including soft skills, how niche their skillset may or may not be, and of course, time honoured work experience.”

ValueMyCV is Adzuna’s ongoing big data research project showing job seekers salary estimates based on the contents of their resume. The data is skewed by the amount of information presented on individual resumes. The model was built upon over 100,000 of submitted CVs in Australia and a special neural network to parse the anonymised data.

How can students who are not studying these degrees improve their job prospects?

Our statistics have shown that you do not have to attend University to get ahead – if you’re not suited to this academic route there are alternatives such as trades and other vocational courses. and you won’t end up with a huge debt at the end of it!

Jobseekers without these degrees or diploma should be prepared to work hard and cultivate their soft skills and look for work experience in industries that they are interested in. There are jobs listed below on adzuna.com.au that will lead to lucrative jobs without a degree

Average Salaries for jobs not requiring a specific degree

  • Cybersecurity/Ethical Hacker – $130,188
  • Miner – $116,000
  • Military Police – $101,103
  • Sales Consultant – $88,430
  • Firefighter – $68,816
  • Real Estate Agent – $66,033
  • Plumber – $78,761
  • Electrician – $96,503
  • Tiler – $71,100

Adzuna is a global leader in job search, helping more people find better jobs through innovative search, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence.

Find your dream job on adzuna.com.au


Note: the data does not recognise salaries comprised of OTE or commissions. Individual results may also vary.