Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Of Graduate Starting Salaries and the underlying message

While there are many different criteria that cause students to choose different careers, it is a reality that whenever the salaries for those working in the extraction of fossil fuels goes up, so does our enrollment.

So, this being the Olympic weeks, I won’t write a whole lot of comment on this but here are the current top 10 average starting salaries.


Given that the mining and petroleum industries were hit badly after the mid 80’s with a drop in demand for fuel, given the global availability of cheap oil, for 2 decades salaries and the need for graduates were both very limited.

Thus when the last upturn in demand came along, there were not a lot of qualified engineers in the system as it regrew, particularly those in the middle levels of management. And those of us who were around before the ‘80s are now moving into retirement so that there is a need beyond that which can be met by existing supply from the most critical disciplines at the Universities.

The numbers in the above table are averages, I have heard of more than one petroleum graduate starting at above $100k and mining engineers going out at around $85k, it all depends on the quality of the student, and which part of the industry they aim at getting into. But even in these tough times generally because of the lack of supply there is still a strong demand for graduates. Of course we are now starting to see some of the larger incoming classes starting to work their way through the system and start to graduate and meet demand – but I suspect that the top three will continue to be in that position for a while.

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